France and the UK reaffirm support for 2015 Iran nuclear deal

Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron met on the sidelines of the Libya summit in Berlin

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes British Prime Minister Boris Johnson before a meeting on Brexit at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated their commitment on Sunday to the Iran nuclear deal and agreed a long-term framework needed to be defined.

"On Iran, the leaders reiterated their commitment to the JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and also acknowledged the need to define a long-term framework to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon," a Downing Street spokeswoman said in a statement after the two met on the sidelines of a Libya summit in Berlin on Sunday.

"They agreed on the importance of de-escalation and of working with international partners to find a diplomatic way through the current tensions,” the spokesperson added.

The deal, which was signed by Iran and global powers in 2015, put limits on Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity in exchange for the lifting of sanctions on Tehran. But the accord suffered a blow when the United States withdrew from the pact in 2018.

More recently, tensions between Iran and the West have heightened since the targeted killing of Tehran’s most senior military general Qassem Suleimani by the US on January 3.

Iran has retaliated by launching missile strikes on two US military bases in Iraq. The Pentagon initially said there had been no casualties from the attacks but on Thursday it said 11 military personnel had been flown out of Iraq for treatment.

Days after the strikes on the military bases, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps mistakenly shot down a passenger airliner leaving Tehran, killing all 176 people on board.

Over the weekend, the war of words continued between Washington and Tehran.

US President Donald Trump on Friday responded to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s Friday sermon, mocking him as "not so supreme" and cautioning that he should be “very careful with his words”.