A pro-Israel think-tank in London has told the UK to “narrow the policy gap with the US” after Donald Trump pulled out of Barack Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
The Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) published its opinion in a briefing paper on Thursday, as tension mounted in the crucial oil shipping lane between Iran and other Gulf states.
The document, titled ‘Britain’s Iran Dilemma,’ follows Iran’s warning last month that if sanctions are not lifted it may cease to comply with its some of its commitments under the deal, signed by the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China.
Iran said the unilateral US withdrawal from the deal, new US sanctions and the apparent inability of European states to evade them meant that Iran’s counter-parties had reneged on their own commitments.
BICOM said the UK should now evaluate whether it can “deal with the weaknesses in the nuclear agreement and how to tackle Iran’s malign activities, including missile testing and transfer of precision missile technology”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long campaigned against the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was agreed by Obama and then Secretary of State John Kerry.
Trump pulled out in 2018, despite Iran having stuck verifiably to its obligations to dissemble its nuclear apparatus. The international monitoring regime is the most onerous in history.
BICOM analysts said this week that British diplomats should “explore whether the current situation can be leveraged into [new] negotiations” and “look… to address the long terms threats presented by the inherent weaknesses of the JCPOA”.
Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to become Britain’s next prime minister, said in May last year that the UK had “no intention of walking away” from the JCPOA. His comments were made when he was foreign secretary.