U.K. Junior FM Heads to Iran in First Visit Since Trump Withdrew From Nuclear Deal

Alistair Burt is making the visit as Britain and other European signatories try to keep deal alive despite Trump’s sanctions ■ Burt also pursuing release of British-Iranian woman jailed in 2016

Iranian protesters burning U.S. and British flags during a demonstration in front of the British Embassy in Tehran, 2009.
AP

A junior British minister will arrive in Tehran on Friday to discuss the future of Iran’s international nuclear deal, in the first visit to the country by a U.K. minister since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 agreement.

Junior Foreign Minister Alistair Burt is making the visit as Britain and other European signatories to the deal try to keep it alive, despite Trump’s reimposition of sanctions on Tehran.

“As long as Iran meets its commitments under the deal, we remain committed to it as we believe it is the best way to ensure a safe, secure future for the region,” Burt said in a statement before his visit.

Alistair Burt
Wikimedia Commons / Chris McAndrew

Burt will also discuss the cases of dual nationals detained in Iran.

Britain is seeking the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation. She was arrested in April 2016 at a Tehran airport as she was heading back to Britain with her daughter, now aged four, after a family visit.

Burt will meet Iranian ministers, including his counterpart Abbas Araghchi, and NGOs during his two-day visit when he will also discuss Iran’s role in conflicts in Syria and Yemen.