Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will attend the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on Monday 15 July to reinforce UK concerns about Iran’s reduced JCPoA compliance and stress the ongoing work needed with partners to keep the deal in place.
It comes after he spoke with both the Chief Minister of Gibraltar and the Iranian Foreign Minister on Saturday to discuss the recent detention of the Grace 1 oil tanker, and agree the importance of finding a resolution to the current situation and avoiding further escalation.
Speaking ahead of the Foreign Affairs Council, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
The Middle East is already one of the most unstable regions in the world, but if the different parties were armed with nuclear weapons it would represent an existential threat to mankind. I will do everything in my power to prevent that from happening.
Today I’ll be building on the leadership shown by the UK, alongside France and Germany, as we do what it takes to maintain the nuclear deal, and to work to encourage Iran back into compliance.
Referring to the detention of Grace 1 in Gibraltar, he added:
As I said to the Iranians this weekend, the detention of the Grace 1 was a Gibraltar-led enforcement of EU Syria sanctions. Action had to be taken, and this was nothing to do with the oil being Iranian.
Moreover, following recent tensions in the Gulf, the Foreign Secretary will stress the importance of international norms of freedom of navigation. Mr Hunt said:
Following the brave work of our Royal Navy in the Persian Gulf we will work with partners to maintain the right of commercial ships to go about their rightful business.