Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the nuclear deal announced yesterday between Iran and the P5+1 powers (US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany). However, both Cameron and Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond acknowledged the danger of Iranian regional influence.
Cameron said that “the international community has delivered a historic deal with Iran… which secures our fundamental aim to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and that will help to make our world a safer place.” However, he emphasised that “Now we must ensure that this deal is fully implemented.” He added that Iran has a “real opportunity to benefit,” but that this is wholly dependent on whether “Iran delivers on all the agreed actions required to fully address international concerns about its programme.”
Cameron also acknowledged that “Of course, this agreement will not solve all the difficulties, especially between Iran and its neighbours.” As a result, he said “We will continue to work with our partners in the region to ensure stability and security and I hope that Iran will also follow this path.”
Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond, who led the UK’s participation in the Vienna talks also welcomed the “important agreement.” However, he also emphasised the need for “swift and full implementation to make sure that a nuclear weapon remains beyond Iran’s reach.” To this end, he assured that the agreement will impose “strict limits and inspections on Iran’s nuclear programme.”
Hammond also addressed Iran’s regional ambitions, which are a significant concern to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Gulf states. Tehran provides material and financial support to Hezbollah, rebels in Yemen and the Assad regime in Syria. Hammond commented, “We recognise the concern in the region about Iran’s historic pattern of regional activity. We will maintain our clear position in support of the Gulf states and against Iranian interference in their internal affairs.” He added, “We will continue to work closely with our international partners to encourage Iran to play a transparent and constructive role in regional affairs.”