Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will attend talks in Brussels today and has pledged to do what it takes to maintain the JCPOA nuclear deal.
Ahead of the Brussels meeting, the Foreign Secretary said: “The Middle East is already one of the most unstable regions in the world, but if the different parties were armed with nuclear weapons it would represent an existential threat to mankind. I will do everything in my power to prevent that from happening. I’ll be building on the leadership shown by the UK, alongside France and Germany, as we do what it takes to maintain the nuclear deal, and to work to encourage Iran back into compliance.”
Britain, France and Germany, the three European Union signatories to the Iran nuclear deal released a joint statement yesterday urging all parties: “To pause and consider the consequences of their actions.” They expressed concern that: “The JCPOA further unravels under the strain of sanctions imposed by the United States and following Iran’s decision to no longer implement several of the central provisions of the agreement. We are extremely concerned by Iran’s decision to stockpile and enrich uranium in excess of authorised limits.” They added: “Our three countries are deeply troubled by the attacks we have witnessed in the Persian Gulf and beyond, and by the deterioration of the security in the region.”
On Saturday, the Foreign Secretary spoke to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and said on Twitter that it was a “constructive call.” Hunt reportedly raised the prospect of releasing the Grace One super tanker in exchange for assurances from Iran that the oil on board would not be delivered to Syria.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that he would be prepared to begin talks with the US but only on the condition that the US: “Lift sanctions, end the imposed economic pressure and return to the [Iran nuclear] deal.”