UK Foreign Office minister to call for ‘urgent de-escalation’ in Tehran talks
The Foreign Office said the short visit today comes at a time of “increased regional tensions”.
The trip was announced after Donald Trump said the US was “cocked and loaded” to retaliate against Iran for downing an American drone, but cancelled the strikes ten minutes before they were to be carried out on Thursday after being told 150 people could die.
President Trump pulled out of a long-term deal struck with Iran in 2015 to limit its sensitive nuclear activities and allow in international inspectors in return for the lifting of economic sanctions.
The deal was signed by his predecessor Barack Obama, along with the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany, which still support the agreement. But Trump declared it a “terrible” deal and imposed more sanctions.
Tensions between the US and Iran have increased in recent weeks amid claims by Washington that Tehran has been behind attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.
Announcing Murrison’s visit, the FCO said: “The UK has an ongoing diplomatic dialogue with Iran.
“At this time of increased regional tensions and at a crucial period for the future of the nuclear deal, this visit is an opportunity for further open, frank and constructive engagement with the government of Iran.
“Dr Murrison will call for urgent de-escalation in the region and raise UK and international concerns about Iran’s regional conduct and its threat to cease complying with the nuclear deal, to which the UK remains fully committed.”