Guterres urges Trump not to dump Iran nuclear deal

United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, during the week urged Donald Trump not to scrap the Iran nuclear deal, saying that the Middle East would become an even more dangerous place if such an important diplomatic victory was thrown away with nothing better to replace it.

The US president is due to decide next week whether to withdraw from the agreement, by which Iran accepted nuclear inspections in return for a loosening of economic sanctions. There is intense political pressure from Tehran and the key European powers Britain, Germany and France to stick with the deal.

“If one day there is a better agreement to replace it it’s fine, but we should not scrap it unless we have a good alternative,” Guterres said in an interview with BBC Radio 4.

“I believe the JCPOA [nuclear deal] was an important diplomatic victory and I think it will be important to preserve it, but I also believe there are areas in which it will be very important to have a meaningful dialogue because I see the region in a very dangerous position,” he said.

His comments came as a senior adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian supreme leader, said that Iran would not remain in the accord if the US decided to leave. “If the United States withdraws from the nuclear deal, then we will not stay in it,” foreign policy adviser Ali Akbar Velayati was quoted as saying by state television.

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