UK Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has threatened “consequences” if Iran fails to honour commitments it made regarding its nuclear programme.
Speaking at a joint-press conference with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, Hunt called Iran’s announcement earlier today an “unwelcome step” but says UK will continue to abide by JCPOA as long as Iran does. “I urge iran not to take further escalatory esteps and to stand by its commitments… as long as Iran keeps its commitments, then so too will the UK.”
Iran made the 60-day ultimatum on Wednesday saying it was relaxing curbs on its nuclear programme under the 2015 JCPOA deal, and threatened to do more — including enriching uranium to a higher level — if other countries did not shield it from U.S. sanctions.
Hunt called the nuclear deal a “very important achievement of Western diplomacy” which has stopped Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and its Arab neighbours from doing the same. “We urge the Iranians to think very long and hard before they break that deal.”
Tensions between the US and Iran have escalated in recent days. The US military said on Tuesday that B-52 bombers would be among the additional forces being sent to the Middle East to counter what President Donald Trump’s administration says are “clear indications” of threats from Iran to U.S. forces there.
There will be "consequences" if Iran ceases its commitments on the nuclear deal, UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt says, during joint news conference with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeohttps://t.co/jmQD7jMZ87 pic.twitter.com/7OYRhSWgXF
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) May 8, 2019
During the press conference, the two leaders indicated their differences of approach regarding Iran, but said they stood united in defending their countries against the Iranian threat.
Asked which side the US was on, Pompeo said, “We are all on the same side, we are on the side of values-drive democracy, we are on the side of freedom, we’re on side of creating a nation for the Iranian people where they can have religious freedom and they can have democracy, We’re on the side of Europe so it can exist without assassination campaigns being conducted in its own capitals. We’re on the side of urging a nation not to undermine Hezbollah which presents a risk to Israel. These are things that Jeremy and I and our two countries share and have in common, and we are equally determined that these outcomes are achieved.”
Pompeo also said Jeremy Corbyn’s apparent support for Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro is “disgusting”.
After being asked about Mr Corbyn’s apparent backing for Mr Maduro, Mr Pompeo told reporters: “It is disgusting to see leaders, not only in the United Kingdom but in the United States as well, who continue to support the murderous dictator Maduro.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Hunt told reporters he and Pompeo had met with the Archbishop of Canterbury and other faith leaders earlier in the afternoon to discuss religious freedom, including the plight of 245 million Christians.
Watch the Hunt & Pompeo press conference here 👇👇https://t.co/BeDZ1dte6o
— Henry Jones (@hthjones) May 8, 2019