Johnson turns back on EU’s Iran’s Nuclear Deal in favour of ‘Trump deal’

31st Jan 2020
Johnson turns back on EU’s Iran’s Nuclear Deal in favour of ‘Trump deal’

Before being elected last month, there were grave fears that Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, could lead the UK into war, effectively becoming the 51st US state.

His rush to force the country out of the EU seemingly at virtually any cost raised concerns that he was prepared to sign a trade deal with Washington that would lower British standard, and even include at least the opening of sacrosanct NHS to American markets. Least expected was how quickly Johnson would be in joining Donald Trump in helping to tear up the protracted negotiated Iran nuclear deal (JCPoA).

In an unthinkable turnaround (even by his standards), Johnson switched from Britain signing a joint statement with France and Germany expressing “commitment” to the deal and determination “to preserve it” to calling for it to be scrapped, (all on the same day). In an interview with BBC Breakfast, the Prime Minister said he recognised US concerns the 2015 deal was “flawed” and should be replaced by some yet-to-be-determined let alone negotiated “Trump deal.”

While the former Mayor of London does not exactly have a reputation of being briefed or not bothering to stick to it even if he has, it was left to Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, to try to equate the two contrary positions.

Answering questions in Parliament in the afternoon of the same day Raab insisted that “the Prime Minister fully supports the JCPoA and bringing Iran back into full compliance.” This is his “clear position and he has said so on many occasions.”

Johnson was ridiculed by Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, who repeated verbatim including his pauses actually what he told the BBC that “the problem with the JCPoA is basically — this is the crucial thing, this is why there is tension — from the American perspective it’s a flawed agreement, it expires, plus it was negotiated by President Obama…from their point of view, it has many, many faults. Well, if we’re going to get rid of it, let’s replace it – and let’s replace it with the Trump deal.

That’s what we need to see…that would be a great way forward. President Trump is a great dealmaker by his own account, and by many others…Let’s work together to replace the JCPoA and get the Trump deal instead.”

SNP Spokesperson for International Affairs and Europe, Alyn Smith, also told MPs that while he was “very happy” to support the Foreign Secretary from his party’s benches, “it seems that he is getting more support from the SNP than his own Prime Minister.”

To emphasise the dichotomy, Smith asked Raab “how seriously does he think Tehran takes us all right now?”

During this Parliamentary debate, Chair of the Exiting the EU Select Committee, Hilary Benn, also raised the question that “either the Prime Minister wants to maintain this deal or he is now advocating for its replacement: he cannot credibly hold both positions. Which one is the policy of the Government?”

Last October, Trump interfered in Britain’s domestic affairs by supporting Johnson in the general election, describing him as “fantastic “ and Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn as “bad” for the country.

In return, Johnson endorsed the controversial US assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, claiming that “most reasonable people would accept that the United States has the right to protect its bases and its personnel.”

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