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Boris Johnson, the British Foreign Secretary, has warned that an arms race could develop in the Middle East if the US backs out of the Iranian nuclear agreement.
“We think what you can do is be tougher on Iran, address the concerns of the president and not throw the baby out with the water,” Mr Johnson said.
He argued that despite the deal’s weaknesses, backing out of it could lead to Iran developing nuclear weapons – a move which would prompt Saudi Arabia and the Emirates to follow suit.
Mr Johnson said the president was “right to see flaws” in the current deal, saying “he’s set a very reasonable challenge to the world”.
“Iran is behaving badly, Iran has a tendency to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles, we’ve got to stop that,” he told Fox News.
“We’ve got to push back on what Iran is doing in the region, we’ve got to be tougher with Iran and we’ve got to fix the flaws in the deal.”
Mr Johnson said a key flaw was the so-called “sunset clause” in the deal, which currently allows Iran to swiftly develop enrichment programmes after 2025 without economic sanctions.
“We need to find a way of fixing that and the president has been right to call attention to it,” the Foreign Secretary said.
But he warned against simply withdrawing from the deal, saying “plan B does not seem to me to be particularly well developed at this stage”.