New Leak Claims Trump Scrapped Iran Nuclear Deal ‘to irk Obama’: According to a leaked memo written by the UK’s former ambassador in the US, Donald Trump abandoned the Iran nuclear deal to spite Barack Obama.
Sir Kim Darroch described the move as an act of “diplomatic vandalism”, in the memo leaked to the Mail on Sunday.
The paper says the memo was written after the then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson appealed to the US in 2018 to stick with the nuclear deal.
Under that agreement, Iran agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities. It would also allow in international inspectors in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions. However, President Trump did not think that the deal went far enough.
The first memos criticising President Trump’s administration, which emerged a week ago, prompted a furious reaction from the US president. Trump responded by calling Sir Kim ‘a very stupid guy’ with whom he would no longer deal and thus resulted in Sir Kim resigning from his role.
The Mail on Sunday reports that Sir Kim wrote to Mr. Johnson informing him Republican President Trump appeared to be abandoning the nuclear deal for “personality reasons” – because the pact had been agreed by his Democrat predecessor, Barack Obama.
Under the 2015 deal backed by the US and five other nations, Iran agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.
However, President Trump said he did not think that the deal went far enough in curtailing Iran’s nuclear ambitions and reinstated US sanctions after withdrawing from it in May 2018.
The newspaper reports that after Mr. Johnson returned to the UK from the US, Sir Kim wrote that President Trump appeared to be abandoning the nuclear deal for ‘personality reasons’ because the pact had been agreed by Obama.
In a tweet from June this year, the president also said he objected to Mr. Obama had given Iran £1.8bn (£1.4bn) as part of the deal. Commentators later pointed out this was related to the settlement of an unfulfilled military order from the 1970s.
Tehran recently announced it would break a limit set on uranium enrichment, in breach of the deal’s conditions. However, the UK, Germany, and France say they are still committed to the deal.
In the latest leak, the British ambassador is said to have highlighted splits among US presidential advisors and said that the White House did not have a ‘day-to-day’ strategy of what to do following withdrawal from the Iran deal. The paper reports that Sir Kim wrote a memo to Boris Johnson, saying: ‘The outcome illustrated the paradox of this White House: you got exceptional access, seeing everyone short of the president; but on the substance, the administration is set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons – it was Obama’s deal.
“Moreover, they can’t articulate any ‘day-after’ strategy; and contacts with State Department this morning suggest no sort of plan for reaching out to partners and allies, whether in Europe or the region.”
Meanwhile, Scotland Yard’s Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu warned media organisations against publishing leaked government documents, saying it “could be a criminal matter”.
His comments came as a criminal investigation was launched into the initial leak of Sir Kim’s emails.
Tory leadership candidate Boris Johnson faced strong criticism for failing to fully support the former ambassador during a TV debate last week. The government has also launched an internal Whitehall inquiry into the leak.