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British, German Officials Press U.S. To Stay In Iran Nuclear Deal

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was among allies urging the U.S. to stay in the Iran nuclear deal.

WASHINGTON -- Senior British and German officials have stepped up efforts to persuade U.S. President Donald Trump to remain a participant in the 2015 landmark nuclear deal with Iran.

Kim Darroch, Britain's ambassador to the United States, on May 6 said his country believes it is still possible to address Trump's concerns about the deal in time to prevent him from pulling out of the agreement.

"We think that we can find some language, produce some action that meets the president's concerns," Darroch told CBS television’s Face the Nation program.

The nuclear deal was signed during the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama, and it provides Tehran with relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

But Trump has said he is unhappy with the terms and accuses Iran of violating the spirit of the accord by supporting militant activity in the Middle East and by continuing to test ballistic missiles. He has demanded that “flaws” in the deal be fixed by May 12 or face a U.S. withdrawal.

Britain, Germany, France, Russia, and China also signed the accord and have urged Washington to remain in the deal, although the Western allies have expressed concerns as well about some of the terms.

Boris Johnson, Britain's foreign secretary, is scheduled to meet with U.S. officials during his current trip to Washington.

In an opinion piece published on May 6 in The New York Times, Johnson wrote that the accord was the best option available at this time.

"It has weaknesses, certainly, but I am convinced they can be remedied. Indeed, at this moment Britain is working alongside the Trump administration and our French and German allies to ensure that they are," he wrote.

Meanwhile, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned of possible dire consequences should the deal fall apart in an interview with German broadcaster ARD.

He quoted John Kerry, the-then U.S. secretary of state, as saying during the signing of the deal that a war had probably been prevented.

"It's an important quote, because one must remember what could happen if this deal collapses and the Middle East begins to build up armaments," Steinmeier said.

Steinmeier also said German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron had "done the right thing by pointing to some common European interests" with regard to the nuclear deal with Iran during their recent visits to Washington. The German presidency is a mainly ceremonial role.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani in a May 6 speech said the United States would regret leaving the agreement and that his country has prepared plans to respond to any decision by Trump regarding the landmark accord.

"We have plans to resist any decision by Trump on the nuclear accord," Rohani said speech broadcast live by Iranian state TV.

"If America leaves the nuclear accord, you will see soon that this will entail historic remorse for it,” he added.

With reporting by CBS, The New York Times, dpa, DW, and AP