British, American and European diplomats are close to agreeing a joint approach to reining in Iran’s territorial ambitions and missile programme, according to Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, who is due to arrive in Washington for last ditch talks to save the Iran nuclear deal.
Donald Trump, the US president, has set himself a Saturday deadline for deciding whether to pull out of the 2015 agreement.
In an article published in Monday’s New York Times, Mr Johnson writes that the deal remains the least worst option. Abandoning it now could prompt a regional arms race triggered by “Iran dashing for a bomb”, he says.
“Of all the options we have for ensuring that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon, this pact offers the fewest disadvantages,” he continues.
“It has weaknesses, certainly, but I am convinced they can be remedied.”
Under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed by the US, China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain with Iran, Tehran is committed to a peaceful nuclear energy programme.
Mr Trump has been a frequent critic – describing it as the “worst deal ever” - and says the US will withdraw unless its shortcomings are fixed.
European figures have been lobbying Washington as the deadline approaches.
Mr Johnson is due to meet Mike Pence, the US vice president, and John Bolton, Mr Trump’s most senior security adviser, during his visit.
He is also expected to appear on one of Mr Trump's favourite TV shows, Fox and Friends. The President frequently announces policy initiatives or fires off tweets in response to issues highlighted by the prorgramme.
Ahead of those meetings, Mr Johnson pointed out the value of the deal, writing that Iran placed two-thirds of its centrifuges in storage and gave up about 95 percent of its uranium stockpile, extending the “break out” time – the time it would need to build a bomb – to more than a year.
“Now that these handcuffs are in place, I see no possible advantage in casting them aside. Only Iran would gain from abandoning the restrictions on its nuclear programme,” he writes.
But he adds that the UK shares Mr Trump’s concerns about Iran’s support for terrorist groups and its long-rang missile programme.
And he said there had been progress in developing a joint approach to countering its regional meddling, but that the nuclear deal should remain central to handling Tehran.
“I believe that keeping the deal’s constraints on Iran’s nuclear programme will also help counter Tehran’s aggressive regional behaviour,” he said.
“I am sure of one thing: every available alternative is worse. The wisest course would be to improve the handcuffs rather than break them.”
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.