British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has reaffirmed his country’s support for the landmark nuclear deal with Iran despite Israeli claims that Tehran had violated the 2015 agreement.
Johnson said on Tuesday that the Iran nuclear deal was “based on tough verification,” and London would stick with it despite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s accusations about Tehran “secretly” pursuing a nuclear weapons program before signing the agreement.
“The Iran nuclear deal is not based on trust about Iran’s intentions; rather it is based on tough verification, including measures that allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear program,” the British foreign secretary said.
Johnson defended “verification provisions” in the landmark deal with Iran and “intrusive inspections” by the IAEA as good reasons to keep the agreement in place.
A British government spokesman also expressed support for the Iran nuclear pact, saying the IAEA inspection regime “is one of the most extensive and robust [ones] in the history of international nuclear accords.”
“It remains a vitally important way of independently verifying that Iran is adhering to the deal and that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful,” he said in a statement.
The Israeli prime minister delivered a televised address on Monday, accusing Iran of violating the multilateral nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
The Iranian foreign minister has likened Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “the boy who cried wolf,” saying he “can only fool some of the people so many times.”
The hawkish premier claimed that he had new “proof” via captured documents that Iran had developed a nuclear weapons plan, which could be activated at any time.
The Israeli leader’s fresh claims were made as numerous reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency have already verified Iran’s full commitment to its side of the bargain.
The IAEA says it has no credible proof of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear weapons program after 2009.
Netanyahu’s accusations came as US President Donald Trump is considering pulling out of the 2015 nuclear accord as a May 12 deadline approaches.
Trump is a stern critic of the nuclear deal, reached under his predecessor Barack Obama, and has repeatedly warned that he might ultimately terminate the agreement.
He said on January 12 that he wanted America’s European allies to use the 120-day period before sanctions relief again came up to agree on tougher measures and new conditions; otherwise Washington would pull out of the deal.
Iran has on numerous occasions asserted that its nuclear program is merely peaceful and not meant to make nukes.
This is while Israel is widely thought to possess hundreds of nuclear nuclear warheads and refuses to either allow inspections of its nuclear facilities or join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.