Boris Johnson has offered a major concession to Donald Trump, suggesting the international deal limiting Iran’s nuclear programme could be “replaced” with a “Trump deal”.
The US President pulled his country out of the deal and has consistently attacked it as a failure, calling on European allies to abandon it amid mounting tensions over the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
Iran has also said it will no longer observe any restrictions on its uranium enrichment programme.
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The UK, France and Germany issued a joint statement defending the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but in an interview with the BBC’s Breakfast programme, Mr Johnson opened the door to the deal being replaced.
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"If we're going to get rid of it, let's replace it and let's replace it with the Trump deal," he said. "That would be a great way forward.”
He added: "The problem with the JCPOA as far as the Americans are concerned is that it was negotiated by President Obama... we need a Trump deal."
The Prime Minister played down the prospect of new sanctions against Tehran following its admission that it accidentally shot down a passenger jet last week, saying he "did not envisage" any escalation in tensions.
Mr Johnson said he was "glad" Iran had acknowledged it made a "terrible mistake”, adding that the next step was to "repatriate in a dignified way" the bodies of those who were killed.
"The most important thing now is that tensions in the region calm down,” he said.
He defended his role in the Middle East crisis after facing criticism for not returning from his holiday immediately.
"I was not in this country but I worked very hard, as you can imagine, in making sure there was a European response," he told the BBC.
Mr Johnson said Britain had played its"traditional role" in serving as the bridge between the "European powers and the United States".
He said there was no need for Britain to have been informed before the attack: "This was not our operation. There was no reason for us to be told."
In the interview, Mr Johnsond declined to comment on the tensions within the Royal Family, and suggested the government was drawing up plans for a “bung a bob for a Big Ben bong” campaign, to raise the £500,000 cost of allowing the bells at parliament to ring for Brexit day on 31 January.
With talks taking place today between government departments over how to support the at-risk regional airline Flybe, the Prime Minister said there were limits over what could be done for a private company, but pledged: “We will make sure we have the regional connectivity this country needs.”
And he claimed it was "enormously likely... epicly likely" that the UK would secure a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU before the end of this year, but added: "You've always got to budget for a failure of common sense."