Leak claims Trump scrapped Iran nuclear deal to spite Obama

14 July, 2019, 09:27 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Boris Johnson said a prosecution of journalists could have a ‘chilling effect’ on public debate

Johnson pointedly refused to back Darroch during the televised debate on Tuesday, leading to accusations from fellow Conservative Party MPs that he had thrown the ambassador "under the bus" in order to bolster his own ties with Trump.

"He was given a perfectly easy opportunity to say: "I'm sorry about this, he's an excellent ambassador and has my support", which we ought to give him because he is undoubtedly a superb ambassador and a very good civil servant, and he chose quite deliberately not to". It would also allow in worldwide inspectors in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

In a tweet on Wednesday, the United States president also accused Iran of "secretly" enriching uranium, in violation of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal that the USA pulled out of a year ago.

Former chancellor George Osborne has criticised Scotland Yard for encroaching on press freedom by launching a criminal investigation into the leak of diplomatic dispatches sent by Britain's U.S. ambassador Sir Kim Darroch.

There were bitter divisions within the Trump White House, saying euphemistically that administration officials would get into "knife fights".

Trump was hostile to the accord with Iran because it was "Obama's deal" according to the leaked diplomatic cable.

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.

"They think they know who did the leaking".

Iran has been scathing in its criticism of Trump's decision to pull out of the deal and the subsequent decisions to impose tough sanctions.

The US President reacted by lashing out in a series of tweets, calling Darroch a "wacky Ambassador" and "very stupid guy".

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But Sir Kim stepped down as USA ambassador on Wednesday, saying it was "impossible" for him to continue.

"I am satisfied that there has been damage caused to United Kingdom worldwide relations, and there would be clear public interest in bringing the person or people responsible to justice", Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said in a statement announcing the move.

Editors criticised an earlier statement warning against further publication.

On Friday, the American president said that Britain needed to stop their "leaking problems".

His rival, Mr Johnson, said it was correct the person responsible for the leak was "hunted down and prosecuted" but it was wrong for police to target the media.

"The publication of these specific documents, now knowing they may be a breach of the OSA, could also constitute a criminal offence and one that carries no public interest defense", said Neil Basu, who heads the investigation as chief of counter-terrorism unit.

"The focus of the investigation is clearly on identifying who was responsible for the leak", Basu added.

Basu said journalists and publishers could be in breach of the law if they published further details from the memos.

In response, a Foreign Office spokesman called it a "totally unacceptable leak" of "sensitive material" and called for the source of the leak to "face the consequences of their actions".

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