Monday 15 July 2019 10:12 am

Jeremy Hunt says time running out to save Iran nuclear deal

Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt this morning insisted the Iran nuclear deal can still be salvaged as he arrived in Brussels for a meeting on the crisis.

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Hunt is meeting European Union foreign ministers to try to reach a solution to tensions with Iran, which were heightened when the UK seized an Iranian oil tanker it says was bound for Syria.

“Iran is still a good year away from developing a nuclear bomb. There is still some closing, but small window to keep the deal alive,” the foreign secretary said as he arrived in Brussels. 

His words followed the release of a joint statement by the UK, France and Germany this morning which reiterated the countries’ commitment to the Iran nuclear deal, which was agreed four years ago.

Called the joint comprehensive plan of action, the deal saw Iran promise to limit its nuclear activities in return for the easing of economic sanctions. But the US pulled out of the agreement in 2018.

In response to the US’s withdrawal, Iran has said it will break the terms of the deal and increase its uranium enrichment activities.

The US has re-imposed sanctions on Iran, which the UK has been accused of enforcing for the Trump administration by intercepting the Iranian oil tanker. Britain has insisted it was enforcing sanctions on Syrian oil imports.

The UK, France and Germany today said: “The time has come to act responsibly and seek a path to stop the escalation of tensions and resume dialogue.”

They said they were concerned that the deal “further unravels under the strain of sanctions imposed by the United States” and “ Iran’s decision to no longer implement several of the central provisions”.

Read more: Iran urges UK to release seized oil tanker as tensions escalate

“We will continue our active engagement with all interested parties, in the interest of the preservation of international peace and security,” they said.

(Image credit: Getty)