British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson praised the Iranian nuclear deal Monday as evidence diplomacy can work, and said he is confident the deal will survive despite US President Donald Trump’s opposition.
Trump has decertified Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement, signed in 2015 and known in the US as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, leaving it up to Congress whether to impose new sanctions on Iran, a move that would bring Washington’s partnership in the plan to an end.
The deal, agreed between Iran and six world powers, saw the lifting of crippling economic sanctions in return for Tehran accepting measures to prevent it from producing nuclear weapons before the deal’s expiration in 2025.
Speaking at a conference in London, Johnson also implored North Korea to “change course” and engage in diplomacy to resolve the crisis over its nuclear ambitions. But he said Trump was right to keep the option of military action open.
Tension has been high between the US and North Korea for months, with Pyongyang staging its sixth nuclear test and launching two ICBMs that apparently brought much of the US mainland into range.
Urging more work to curb nuclear proliferation, Johnson said the alternative would be “a nuclear version of the final scene of ‘Reservoir Dogs'” — a reference to a 1992 film in which many of the protagonists simultaneously pull the trigger after threatening each other with pistols.
Trump and the North’s leader, Kim Jong Un, have traded threats of war and personal insults.
Johnson said the US has rightly offered “sensible reassurances” to Pyongyang that it does not seek regime change or invasion. But he said Trump has an “absolute duty to prepare any action” to keep America and allies safe.