Britain hopes for `more constructive` Iran after nuclear deal
British foreign secretary Philip Hammond, who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal, said Monday he hoped it would encourage Tehran to play a more constructive role in the region.
Brussels: British foreign secretary Philip Hammond, who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal, said Monday he hoped it would encourage Tehran to play a more constructive role in the region.
"We hope to see an Iran less negative (and which) starts to behave as a more constructive power in the region," Hammond said as he arrived for an EU foreign ministers meeting where the nuclear accord tops the agenda for discussion.
"The EU can play an important role here. In Iranian mythology, relationships with the US are very difficult," whereas ties with the 28-nation European Union have been less fraught, he said.
"Therefore we perhaps have an opportunity to play a role in trying to encourage Iran to think about moderating its behaviour in the region."
Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany finally reached an accord with Iran last Tuesday after years of tortured negotiations on preventing Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
In return, the major powers will progressively lift damaging economic sanctions as long as Iran sticks to the terms of the agreement.
Hammond said he and his French and German counterparts, Laurent Fabius and Frank-Walter Steinmeier, would brief the foreign ministers meeting on the negotiations and the agreement.
Steinmeier said he expected the UN Security Council to formally endorse what Fabius described as a "major diplomatic achievement" later Monday.
Fabius also noted the positive impact the accord could have on a region where Shiite Iran is locked in a dangerous stand-off with Sunni Saudi Arabia in many regional conflicts from Syria to Iraq.
"I hope that the agreement with Iran gives an incentive for similar approaches to defuse the conflict in Syria, though we are still far from a solution there," Steinmeier said.