The Guardian – Boris Johnson will travel to Washington next week in a bid to persuade US senators not to abandon the Iran nuclear deal or to impose fresh sanctions against Tehran that could jeopardise the deal.
While describing the deal as an “amazing triumph of diplomacy”, the foreign secretary acknowledged that it had not led to wider changes in Iranian policies in the Middle East, such as in its support for Hezbollah in Lebanon and Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Last month, Donald Trump threatened to terminate the 2015 deal unless Congress and US allies toughened the conditions on Iran – and to make restrictions on the country’s nuclear programme permanent.
Speaking to the foreign affairs committee, Johnson said Iran’s behaviour was creating an incredibly dangerous situation, but he said it was vital that America did not respond by “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” by rejecting the deal outright.
He said the 80 million Iranians “deserve and need to feel the benefits of both the deal and engagement”, adding that “the International Atomic Energy Authority has found the Iranians in compliance”. The country had a potentially extraordinary future, he said. But he added that perception “should not in any way blind us to the disruptive behaviour of Iran, or have any illusions about what they are up to”.