Britain is working closely with allies to address issues relating to Iran, a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday, giving British backing to French President Emmanuel Macron’s talks with U.S. President Donald Trump.
“We are working closely with our allies on how to address the range of challenges Iran poses in the Middle East, including those issues that President Macron proposed a new deal might cover,” the spokesman said.
With deadline looming next month for Trump to decide on restoring U.S. economic sanctions on Tehran, Macron said on Wednesday he spoke to Trump about a “new deal” in which the U. S. and Europe would tackle the outstanding concerns about Iran beyond its nuclear programme.
Earlier, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran poured scorn on U.S. and European discussions over Tehran’s nuclear agreement, and dismissed Donald Trump as a “tradesman” who lacked the qualifications to deal with a complex international pact.
Rouhani spoke after French President Emmanuel Macron flew to Washington to try to persuade Trump not to scrap
the 2015 agreement – under which Iran curbed its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of sanctions.
“They say that with the certain leader of a European country we want to make a decision about a
seven-sided agreement,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state TV.
“For what? With what right?” he added.
He reserved particular scorn for the U.S. president, who has called the agreement one of the worst deals ever
negotiated and has threatened to restore U.S. sanctions next month unless what he sees as severe flaws are fixed.
“You don’t have any background in politics. You don’t have any background in law. You don’t have any background
on international treaties,” Rouhani said.
“How can a tradesman, a merchant, a building constructor, a tower constructor make judgments about international affairs,” he added referring to Trump’s career as a property developer.
The other powers that signed the agreement with Iran – Russia, China, Germany, Britain and France, have all said they want to preserve it.
Many in the West see it as the best hope of preventing Iran from getting a nuclear bomb and heading off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
In a bid to salvage the deal while satisfying Trump’s call for tougher action, Macron’s has proposed that
the U.S. and Europe block any Iranian nuclear activity until 2025 and beyond, address Iran’s ballistic
missile programme and generate conditions for a political solution to contain Iran in Yemen, Syria,
Iraq and Lebanon.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold talks with Trump in Washington on Friday.
Senior Iranian officials have said repeatedly that Iran’s ballistic missile program is not up for