US ambassador to London pushes Britain to ditch Iran dealAugust 12, 2018
Woody Johnson, the US ambassador to London, encouraged Britain to stick with the United States and ditch a “flawed” 2015 nuclear deal with Iran even as the European Union openly defied sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.
“America is turning up the pressure and we want the U.K. by our side,” Ambassador Woody Johnson, who owns the New York Jets with his brother, wrote in an op-ed published Sunday in the Telegraph.
“It is time to move on from the flawed 2015 deal. We are asking global Britain to use its considerable diplomatic power and influence and join us as we lead a concerted global effort toward a genuinely comprehensive agreement,” Johnson said.
President Trump withdrew in May from the nuclear accord brokered by former President Obama with the EU, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia.
Trump has long criticized agreement, calling it the “worst deal ever” and saying it doesn’t go far enough to curb Iran’s support for militant groups in the Middle East.
But last week members of the EU reiterated their desire to remain in the deal and even moved to protect other countries that continue doing business with Iran despite US sanctions that threatens to punish them.
“We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the U.S., due to the latter’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” EU officials said in a statement, adding that they would institute a “blocking statue” that would shield EU businesses from US retaliation.
Trump slapped the first round of sanctions on the Islamic Regime last week that targets Iran’s purchasing of US dollars, trading in precious metals and its automotive sector.
The administration is poised to impose a second wave of sanctions in November.
Asked for comment on Johnson’s op-ed, the British foreign office referred to comments made last week by Middle East Minister Alistair Burt.
“If a company fears legal action taken against it and enforcement action taken against it by an entity in response to American sanctions then that company can be protected as far as EU legislation is concerned,” Burt told BBC radio. “It is a commercial decision for companies whether they continue to work in Iran.”