U.K. PM Candidate Johnson: I Would Not Back U.S. Military Action Against Iran

U.S.-Iranian tensions have escalated since U.S. President Donald Trump decided last year to abandon the nuclear deal under which Iran agreed to curtail its atomic program

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson attends the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva June 18, 2018.
DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS

The leading candidate to become Britain's next Prime Minister, lawmaker Boris Johnson, said on Monday he would not currently back the United States if it took military action against Iran.

"Were I to be prime minister now, would I be supporting military action against Iran? Then the answer is no," Johnson told a leadership debate organised by the Sun newspaper and TalkRadio.

U.S.-Iranian tensions have escalated since U.S. President Donald Trump decided last year to abandon the nuclear deal under which Iran agreed to curtail its atomic program in return for relief from economic sanctions crippling its economy.

Foreign minister Jeremy Hunt, who is also Johnson's rival in the contest to be Britain's next leader, said he did not think the United States was looking for war withIran, nor Tehran looking for war with Washington.

"The risk we have is something different, which is an accidental war, because something happens in a very tense and volatile situation," Hunt told the same debate.