Below is the text of the speech made by Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, on 11 January 2018.
Thank you very much. I’m really going to echo what [German Foreign Minister] Sigmar Gabriel and [French Foreign Minister] Jean-Yves Le Drian have already said. This was a very important meeting. It’s very important that as Europeans we come together to express a common view.
That is, number one, that we greatly value the JCPoA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], the nuclear deal with Iran, we think it is a considerable diplomatic accomplishment. It’s a way of stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. As my colleagues have said, Iran is in compliance with this agreement according to the International Atomic Energy Authority, and that is very, very important to us.
But it is also clearly important to build worldwide support for this deal and that Iran should be able to show, as my colleagues have said, that it is a good neighbour in the region. That’s why it’s legitimate and right that we should, in parallel, not connected with the JCPoA, but in parallel, focus on what Iran can do to resolve the appalling crisis in Yemen, to help push forward a peace in Syria and to help resolve other questions in the region.
I want to stress, just in conclusion, that I don’t think anybody has so far produced a better alternative to the JCPoA as a way of preventing the Iranians from going ahead with their acquisition of a nuclear capability. I don’t think anybody has come up with a better idea. And I think it is incumbent on those who oppose the JCPoA to come up with that better solution, because we haven’t seen it so far.
I also think that if we can keep the deal going, which I very much hope that we can, that the Iranian people should see the economic benefits that will flow from the JCPoA. And that’s why the UK government together with our friends and partners in France and Germany, and of course other EU countries and [EU High Representative] Federica Mogherini, will continue to work for the continuation of the JCPoA.