Britain Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has urged US President Donald Trump not to abandon the Iran nuclear deal, saying “it would be a mistake to walk away”.

Johnson is in Washington to persuade the US to remain in the international accord, which saw Iran agree to limit its nuclear activities in return for the easing of economic sanctions.

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The UK and its European allies have until 12 May to convince Trump to stick with the agreement.

Britain, France and Germany have been working behind the scenes for weeks in an effort to preserve the deal, which was orchestrated under the Obama administration, and includes Russia and China as signatories.

Writing in the New York Times, he argued that “only Iran would gain” from abandoning nuclear restrictions.

“Of all the options we have for ensuring that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon, this pact offers the fewest disadvantages,” he wrote.

Johnson said the deal “has weaknesses, certainly, but I am convinced they can be remedied”, adding that the UK was working with the US, France and Germany to achieve that.

He said the deal had put restrictions on Iran’s nuclear programme and “now that these handcuffs are in place, I see no possible advantage in casting them aside”, adding that the handcuffs should be improved, not broken.

UK ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch, told US media: “We think that we can find some language, produce some action that meets the president’s concerns.”