1129 GMT March 18, 2018
Johnson praised the Iranian nuclear deal Monday as evidence diplomacy can work, and said he is confident the deal will survive despite US President Donald Trump’s opposition, Reuters reported.
In a speech to the Chatham House think tank in London on Monday, Johnson stopped short of criticizing Trump directly, saying the president had "not junked" the deal and in fact had "continued to waive nuclear-related sanctions against Iran".
Trump delivered an anti-Iran speech on October 13, in which he said he would not be certifying Iran’s compliance with the terms of the nuclear deal under a domestic American law.
While Trump did not pull Washington out of the deal, he gave the US Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions against Tehran that were lifted under the pact. Reimposing sanctions would put the US at odds with other signatories to the accord and the European Union.
However, the US president in an interview aired on Sunday said he does not object to France and Germany continuing trade with Iran, AFP reported.
"I told them just keep making money," the real estate mogul-turned-president told the Fox News program Sunday Morning Futures. "Don't worry. You just keep making money."
"They are friends of mine. They really are. I get along with all of them. Whether it's Emmanuel or Angela," Trump said, referring to French President Emmanuel Macron and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"I don't know what's going to happen with that deal," Trump said of the landmark 2015 accord, which on October 13 he refused to certify.
"When they buy those things, it is a little harder," Trump said of French and German commercial dealings with Iran. "I told them just keep making money. Don't worry. We don't need you on this one."
But speaking to journalists on a diplomatic visit to Riyadh, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US is "hoping" European companies and countries "will join the US as we put in place a sanction structure."
Tillerson had told The Wall Street Journal on Friday the Trump administration does not intend to disrupt European commerce with Iran.
The European Union has meanwhile expressed determination to preserve the Iran deal, with several leaders considering it essential to convincing North Korea to come to the negotiating table over its own nuclear program.