January 14, 2020 / 8:27 AM / 11 days ago

UK PM Johnson: New Trump deal can replace the Iran nuclear pact

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks in the Stormont Parliament Buildings in Belfast, Northern Ireland, January 13, 2020. Liam McBurney/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday called on U.S. President Donald Trump to replace the Iranian nuclear deal with his own new agreement to ensure that the Islamic Republic did not get an atomic weapon.

“If we’re going to get rid of it, let’s replace it and let’s replace it with the Trump deal,” Johnson said of the 2015 nuclear arms control deal with Tehran. “That would be a great way forward.”

“President Trump is a great deal maker, by his own account. Let’s work together to replace the JCPOA and get the Trump deal instead,” Johnson told the BBC.

Under the deal brokered in 2015, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran agreed with China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, to restrict its nuclear program.

But in 2018, Trump pulled out of the deal. European powers have repeatedly said they still support the deal though Tehran announced earlier this month it would abandon limitations on enriching uranium, a further blow to the deal.

“If you get rid of this nuclear deal, the JCPOA, it’s what Trump wants. My point to our American friends is, look, somehow or other you’ve got to stop the Iranians acquiring a nuclear weapon,” Johnson said.

“From the American perspective, it’s a flawed agreement, it expires, plus it was negotiated by President (Barack) Obama. From their point of view it has many, many faults.”

Trump is confident he could still renegotiate a new nuclear deal with Tehran, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said earlier this month after Iran announced it would retreat further from the 2015 nuclear pact.

“I don’t want a military conflict between us, the United States and Iran, let’s dial this thing down,” Johnson said.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; editing by Michael Holden

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