Iraq's Haidar al-Abadi to visit Iran, Turkey as US sanctions bite

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

Woody Johnson, the USA ambassador to London, encouraged Britain to stick with the United States and ditch a "flawed" 2015 nuclear deal with Iran even as the European Union openly defied sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.

President Trump withdrew in May from the nuclear accord brokered by former President Obama with the EU, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation.

In an article for The Sunday Telegraph, the American envoy called on the government of British Prime Minister Theresa May to reconsider its support for the nuclear deal and side with Washington.

Accusing Iran of "squandering its money on proxy wars and malign activities overseas", US Ambassador Woody Johnson's op-ed in the Sunday Telegraph asked the UK to "use its considerable diplomatic power and influence" to join the US "as a united front" in its effort to secure "a genuinely comprehensive agreement" on Iran ending its nuclear program. "We think this is really important, sticking to a deal a number of partners have agreed to", he said.

"We are asking global Britain to use its considerable diplomatic power and influence and join us as we lead a concerted global effort towards a genuinely comprehensive agreement".

In a controversial move, President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump condemns white nationalist rallies: There is no place for neo-Nazism in US Sunday shows preview: Virginia lawmakers talk Charlottesville, anniversary protests Poll: Trump disliked as strongly as Nixon before his resignation MORE pulled the USA out of the deal in May, breaking with longtime European allies.

This week, the Trump administration announced that it would reimpose sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of its nuclear agreement with the country.

The first phase of the unilateral sanctions came into effect on Tuesday, targeting Iran's purchase of United States dollars, trade in gold and other precious metals as well as its automotive sector.

The administration is poised to impose a second wave of sanctions in November.

Johnson wrote in his article that British businesses should cut all trade ties with Iran and help the U.S. form a "united front".

Reiterating a threat made by his boss, US President Donald Trump, on Tuesday, Johnson added that: "The President has been explicit: any businesses that put their commercial interests in Iran ahead of the global good will risk serious consequences for their trade with the US".

Burt said the deal was an important part of regional security and that, with the European Union, the government was trying to protect British companies from the USA sanctions when dealing with Iran.

Several European companies have suspended plans to invest in Iran in light of the USA sanctions, including oil major Total as well as carmakers PSA, Renault and Daimler.

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