USA ambassador to London pushes Britain to ditch Iran deal

US Ambassador to the United Kingdom Woody Johnson at the Ambassador's official residence in Regent's Park

The Trump administration has called for the immediate release of the U.S. pastor, Andrew Brunson, who Turkey arrested in the aftermath of the failed 2016 military coup attempt.

London has made clear it is committed to the JCPOA, but is open to talking to the U.S. about ways to address shared concerns about Iran's regional activities.

It came after the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump's, unilateral withdrawal from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

"Until then, America is turning up the pressure and we want the United Kingdom by our side", Johnson wrote in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

It also buys Iranian-generated electricity to deal with chronic power cuts that have been a key factor sparking mass protests in recent weeks.

A British Foreign Office official said Sunday, "We remain committed to the nuclear deal".

"Together, we can help bring about the peace and prosperity in Iran that the whole world wants to see".

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Last week the European Union's executive Commission introduced a "blocking statute" to protect European businesses from the impact of the sanctions.

Asked about Johnson's article, the British foreign office pointed to comments from Middle East minister Alistair Burt, who last week ruled out Britain going along with the United States. "Sometimes you need to take a stand against friends". Trump has described the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as a "horrible, one sided" agreement.

US Ambassador to Britain Woody Johnson said Iran needed to make tangible and sustained changes to behave like a normal country.

The premier said last Tuesday that Iraq- which relies on neighboring Iran as a source of cheap imports - would reluctantly comply with U.S. sanctions against Tehran that took effect the same day.

Iran has said it will restart aspects of the uranium enrichment program if the nuclear deal unravels. Of all the G-7 leaders at the bruising summit, she largely side-stepped the public skirmishing.

Since then, Britain, France and Germany have sought to keep the deal alive, while Trump has prepared new sanctions, saying a broader and more balanced deal is needed.

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