Trump responds positively to idea of new Iran deal floated by UK’s Johnson

President Trump attends a UN event on Religious Freedom at UN Headquarters in NY, September 23, 2019, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. (AFP)

US President Donald Trump responded positively to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s idea of creating a new nuclear deal with Iran, saying that he respected Johnson and was not surprised he had floated the idea.

“He does want a new deal because the other deal was ready to expire - very short number of years left,” Trump said, referring to the 2015 nuclear deal that Iran struck with major powers and that the US president abandoned last year.

“Iran is the number one state of terror in the world,” Trump said in remarks to Al Arabiya correspondent.

Trump when asked about France’s Macron attempting to mediate Iran dispute, says “we don’t need a mediator...they know who to call.”

Under the earlier nuclear deal, Iran committed to limit its nuclear program in return for relief from US and other sanctions that had crippled its economy.

Trump re-imposed US sanctions last year. In May, he tightened them further and sought to drive Iranian oil exports to zero. He has criticized the earlier deal, negotiated under then-US President Barack Obama, for “sunset” clauses under which some of its provisions expired as well as for its failure to address Iran’s missile program and regional activities.

“I respect Boris a lot and I am not surprised at all that he was the first one to come out and say that,” Trump said of Johnson’s comment earlier on Monday when the British PM said that regardless of anyone’s views on the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers it was time to negotiate a new agreement.

“How do we respond to what the Iranians plainly did? What the UK is doing is trying to bring people together and de-escalate tensions,” Johnson told Sky News in an interview as world leaders gathered at the United Nations in New York, where tensions between the United States and Iran were to be discussed.

“Whatever your objections to the old nuclear deal with Iran, it’s time now to move forward and do a new deal.”

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:05 - GMT 11:05
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