May 8, 2018 / 1:55 PM / 10 months ago

Britain "deeply pessimistic" ahead of Trump's Iran announcement-senior UK diplomat

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is deeply pessimistic ahead of an announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump later on Tuesday about the United States’ commitment to the Iran nuclear deal, a senior British diplomat said.

Trump will announce whether he will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and a senior U.S. official said it was unclear if efforts by European allies to address Trump’s concerns would be enough to save the pact.

“Unfortunately we are deeply pessimistic ahead of President Trump’s announcement later today. However, we will have to wait and see what exactly President Trump says tonight,” the diplomat, who declined to be named, said.

British foreign minister Boris Johnson visited the United States over the weekend to lobby officials and try to save the deal, saying he was certain that its shortcomings could be remedied.

European leaders have warned that Trump’s withdrawal would strike a blow to the alliance between Western Europe and the United States, and undo years of negotiations that they say were successful in halting Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“Our objective will remain to uphold and maintain the JCPOA (the nuclear deal).  We will need to wait to understand what the US plan is to deliver on our shared goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and addressing their regional behavior,” the diplomat said.

Reporting by William James; editing by Michael Holden

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