UK’s P.M. May tells Gulf she is ‘clear-eyed’ about Iran threat but backs nuclear deal

by WorldTribune Staff, December 8, 2016

While insisting she is “clear-eyed” about Iran’s threat to the region, British Prime Minister Theresa May told the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Dec. 7 that she supports Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

The deal “was vitally important for regional security,” May said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “But we must also work together to push back against Iran’s aggressive regional actions, whether in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Syria or in the Gulf itself.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May attends the first Gulf Cooporative Council's (GCC) '' GCC British Summit'', in Sakhir Palace Bahrain, Dec. 7. /Reuters
British Prime Minister Theresa May at the GCC summit in Bahrain on Dec. 7. /Reuters

May told the GCC that the Iran deal had “neutralized” the possibility of the Islamic Republic acquiring nuclear weapons for over a decade.

May’s comments at a meeting of the six-nation GCC in Bahrain contrast those of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who said during his campaign that he would tear up the nuclear deal.

Trump’s senior foreign policy adviser, Walid Phares, said that while Trump might not actually rip up the agreement, he would act to change it.

Trump’s selections for his national security team, including Gen. Mike Flynn as national security adviser and Rep. Mike Pompeo as head of the CIA, have indicated their strong opposition to the deal.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said the deal is irreversible. On Dec. 6, he declared that he wouldn’t let Trump rip up the deal.

May is the first British prime minister to attend a summit of the GCC. She is seeking to boost trade with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman, as Britain prepares to withdraw from the European Union.