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PM May urges Trump to retain Iran deal

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Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson have urged the US administration not to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran.

The Prime Minister spoke to US President Donald Trump yesterday about Iran. A Downing Street statement said: “The PM reaffirmed the UK’s strong commitment to the deal alongside our European partners, saying it was vitally important for regional security and stressed that it was important that the deal was carefully monitored and properly enforced.”

The two leaders “also discussed the need for the UK, US and others to work together to counter destabilising Iranian activity in the region” and “agreed that their teams should remain in contact ahead of a decision on recertification,” the statement continued.

A White House statement said Trump “underscored the need to work together to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its malign and destabilising activities, especially its sponsorship of terrorism and its development of threatening missiles”.

The US President is expected to announce this week whether or not he will certify to Congress that Iran is in compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, which he is required to do every 90 days, amid speculation that he will announce that Iran is no longer in compliance.

Also yesterday, Johnson spoke yesterday to his US counterpart Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Johnson echoed the Prime Minister’s words in a statement, calling the nuclear deal “a crucial agreement that neutralised Iran’s nuclear threat” and “the culmination of 13 years of painstaking diplomacy and has increased security, both in the region and in the UK”. The Foreign Secretary will meet the head of Iran’s nuclear agency in London today.

In another development, German intelligence reports have accused Iran of trying to obtain illicit technology that “definitely or with high likelihood were undertaken for the benefit of” its ballistic missile and nuclear programs. The North Rhine-Westphalia agency said that Iran has used Turkish, Chinese and Emirati front companies to circumvent international restrictions in order to develop “spreading atomic, biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction”. Anonymous German diplomats told Fox News that they believed Iran was not violating the nuclear deal, but expressed concern over its ballistic missile development, which has continued in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231.