Theresa May in dig at Donald Trump over Iran nuclear deal

Posted On: 
27th September 2018

Theresa May has issued a rebuke to Donald Trump over the US President's bid to kill off the Iran nuclear deal.

Theresa May and Donald Trump came face-to-face at the United Nations.
Credit: 
PA

The Prime Minister told the UN General Assembly in New York that the pact was "the best way" of curbing fears about Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

The US President used a fiery address to the UN to defend his decision to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which eased sanctions on Iran in exchange for allowing international weapons inspectors into the country.

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He branded Iran's government a "corrupt dictatorship" and warned of "severe consequences" for countries that failed to impose fresh sanctions.

But Mrs May said the deal - which Britain has said it will continue to uphold - had been "an important step forward" in reining in Iran's nuclear programme.

She said: "It remains the best means of preventing Iran developing a nuclear weapon, and we are committed to preserving the JCPOA as long as Iran continues to abide by its obligations in full."

Directly addressing Mr Trump, the Prime Minister added: "Mr President, it was collective engagement by states across the globe that produced the counter-proliferation framework.

“Even the most powerful recognised that investing in collective rules-based restraint was the only effective way of addressing national security interests and avoiding unilateral recourse to force."

Mrs May also took a veiled swipe at the US commander-in-chief's call to "reject the ideology of globalism" and "embrace the doctrine of patriotism".

Urging fellow leaders to reject the views of both the far right and far left, she said: "We have to show there is a better way to meet the concerns of our people.

"That way lies in global cooperation between strong and accountable states based on open economies and inclusive societies."

Despite the jibes, Mr Trump heaped praise on his "friend" when the pair sat down for face-to-face talks on the sidelines of the UN summit.

He said: "She’s working very hard, like all of us, and doing a very, very good job.

"We spent a lot of time together on my last trip to the UK and I think that’s where we can say we got to know each other and it was like meeting after meeting after meeting and I said this is really good.

"Every meeting became better and better."

Downing Street meanwhile said the two leaders had "agreed that Brexit provides a wonderful opportunity to strike a big and ambitious UK-US free trade agreement".