Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

UK's Johnson: we should not pursue regime change in Iran

UK's Johnson: we should not pursue regime change in Iran

Iran's foreign minister said Sunday he was hopeful of forging a "clear future design" for the nuclear deal facing collapse after Washington's withdrawal, at the start of a diplomatic tour aimed at rescuing the agreement.

Major European powers have sought to keep Iran in a landmark worldwide nuclear agreement after President Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the pact and promised tough economic sanctions against Tehran.

However he admitted that the choice by Donald Trump to withdraw the U.S. and slap new sanctions on Iran would have penalties for United Kingdom corporations working there.

"The consequences of American sanctions go well beyond goods shipped by American companies, " Bolton said.

US President Donald Trump on May 8 announced that the United States was withdrawing from the 2015 deal negotiated by the Obama administration.

But European diplomats briefed on the Brussels meeting acknowledged that the EU support, however honest, risked looking hollow after Trump last week reimposed an array of wide sanctions on the Islamic Republic that will hit European companies investing in Iran.

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French diplomats said they also wanted to assess Iran's intentions in sticking to the deal, but also to see how open it was to serious talks on other Western concerns.

"The talks with the Europeans, Iran and the other signatories to the agreement are therefore also about how it can be possible to continue trade with Iran", Maas said.

Iranian state television Irib broadcasted images of Mohammad Javad Zarif in Moscow, saying he had arrived in Russia at 4 am (01:00 GMT) on Monday and was due to meet Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

Those comments were echoed by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who told parliament that regime change in Iran was not a policy Britain should pursue.

Britain, France and Germany are working to secure measures to protect European countries working in Iran against the danger of U.S. sanctions.

European firms, especially those from France and Germany, rushed to invest in Iran following the 2015 agreement, under which Tehran agreed to freeze its nuclear programme in return for the repeal of punishing global sanctions.

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"It is not the matter of Iran's nuclear deal, it is the matter of dignity of Europe because President Trump believes in unilateralism; he thinks he's master of the world, he's a business police of the world and he will make a decision and the other countries must obey him", Mr Mianji said.

Germany's minister for economic affairs, Peter Altmaier, said on Sunday that Berlin will try to "persuade the U.S. government to change its behavior".

"The President of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran has been tasked with taking all necessary steps in preparation for Iran to pursue industrial-scale enrichment without any restrictions", Zarif said on Friday.

Wang said China will take an "objective, fair and responsible attitude, keep communication and cooperation with all parties concerned, and continue to work to maintain the (Iran nuclear) deal".

It also demanded that Iran cease supplying weapons to the Houthi rebels, who have been at war with Tehran's archenemy Saudi Arabia, end cyberattacks against the USA and its allies, stop menacing US military ships in the Persian Gulf and abandon its rhetoric about destroying Israel.

For several years now, the main foreign policy goal of America's two main allies in the Middle East, Israel and Syria, has been to draw the United States into a war with Iran.

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Meanwhile, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran's central bank governor, Valiollah Seif, and Iraq-based Al-Bilad Islamic Bank for "moving millions of dollars" for Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, as Washington seeks to cut off funding for what it says is Iran's malign activities in the Middle East.

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