Trump and British prime minister discuss Iran by phone

President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom condemned recent suspected Iranian rocket attacks on Israel in a phone call on Friday, according to statements from both administrations.

But only a U.K. readout of the call addressed May’s concerns about the United States’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal earlier this week. And it said the leaders agreed to further talks about the effect on Western countries of reimposing sanctions on Iran, as Trump announced he intended to do.

“The Prime Minister reiterated the Government’s position on the Iran nuclear deal, noting that we and our European partners remain firmly committed to ensuring the deal is upheld, as the best way of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon,” the British readout said.

Trump and May also discussed how to respond to what they described as Iran’s destabilizing actions in the Middle East, called for regional calm and affirmed that Israel has the right of self-defense against Iran.

European allies have condemned Trump’s move on Tuesday to “withdraw” the U.S. from the nuclear accord signed with Iran and others. Britain, France and Germany had strained for months to come up with a compromise that would prevent Trump from jumping ship — to no avail. But the remaining parties to the deal, including China and Russia, have thus far signaled some willingness to preserve it even without the U.S.

Iran hawks in the Trump administration, including the new national security adviser, John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, cast the deal as a wrongheaded concession to a bad actor.

Trump and May also discussed recent developments on North Korea, according to the British readout. The prime minister applauded the president for the return this week of Americans detained in North Korea, and said “the UK would continue to work with the US to keep up the pressure on North Korea to denuclearize” ahead of a planned summit between Trump and the North’s leader, Kim Jong Un, next month.


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