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British government pressures Trump for rethink on Iran deal

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson waves to the media as he arrives for a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
October 11, 2017 - 2:35 AM

LONDON - Britain has urged the United States to extend the Iran nuclear deal, with Prime Minister Theresa May saying it is "vitally important for regional security."

May's office said she and President Donald Trump spoke late Tuesday and both sides agreed their teams would remain in contact ahead of Trump's decision on the pact.

Trump has threatened to scrap the agreement, calling it the "worst deal ever." He must recertify the measure by Oct. 15 because of unilateral conditions set by Congress.

In a rare case of the U.K. publicly pressuring the U.S., the British government said Wednesday that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had called Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to underscore British support for the deal.

Johnson said the agreement — under which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions — "was the culmination of 13 years of painstaking diplomacy and has increased security, both in the region and in the UK. It is these security implications that we continue to encourage the U.S. to consider."

The Foreign Office said Johnson also spoke to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and will meet Ali Akhbar Salehi, Iran's vice-president and head of its nuclear agency, in London on Wednesday.

China, France, Russia, Germany, Britain and the European Union ratified the deal.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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