Trump abandoned Iran nuclear deal to spite Obama: UK envoy in leaked emails
US President Donald Trump abandoned the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 solely to spite his predecessor, Barack Obama, who had agreed the deal, according to a fresh leak of emails by the British ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch, on Sunday.
Publication of the envoy’s views last Sunday on the Trump administration sparked a diplomatic row, besides creating ripples between the two UK prime ministerial candidates, Boris Johnson and foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, in the ongoing election for the next Conservative leader.
According to the latest extracts published in ‘The Mail on Sunday’, Darroch described Trump pulling out of the Iran deal in May 2018 as an act of ‘diplomatic vandalism’, adding that the act appeared to be for ‘personality reasons’.
The tabloid quoted Darroch as reporting to London: “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.”
Darroch, who sent the emails when Johnson was the foreign secretary, has resigned in the wake of the row, but will continue in the post until his replacement is announced, possibly by the new prime minister later this month.
The tabloid published the emails despite caution from Scotland Yard that doing so may breach the Official Secrets Act, and that journalists and newspaper organisations could also face criminal prosecution. However, the police rowed back on the caution amid protests on its potential impact on freedom of the press.
Meanwhile, The Sunday Times reported that the suspect behind the leak had been identified and the possibility of a computer hack by another country had been ruled out, while ‘The Mail on Sunday’ said publishing the leaks is in the public interest.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “A police inquiry into the totally unacceptable leak of this sensitive material has begun. The perpetrator should face the consequences of their actions”.
“It’s not news that the US and UK differ in how to ensure Iran is never able to acquire a nuclear weapon; but this does underline that we do not shy away from talking about our differences and working together.”