Dominic Raab with Mike Pompeo in the US State Department (Picture: US Department of Defense).
Iran

Foreign Secretary Holds Iran Talks With US Counterpart Pompeo

Dominic Rabb echoed European calls for de-escalation and reaffirmed UK commitment to the Iran nuclear deal.

Dominic Raab with Mike Pompeo in the US State Department (Picture: US Department of Defense).

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been meeting his US counterpart to discuss de-escalation of the Iran crisis.

During talks in Washington with Mike Pompeo in the aftermath of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani's death, Mr Raab continued to push for a diplomatic solution to tensions in the Middle East.

Iranian strikes have since targeted two air bases in Iraq hosting US and UK troops, though no coalition personnel are said to have been killed in the retaliation attack.

Mr Raab says the UK is "looking very hard at what should happen next", recognising "the danger and the threat that Iran poses to the region" and the US' right to defend itself against further attacks.

Upon his arrival in the US, Mr Raab's Twitter profile acknowledged an opportunity "to discuss the importance of the UK/US security partnership" and a move away from fears of another war in Iraq.

The message echoes that of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons yesterday, which condemned the Iranian strikes and the track record of General Soleimani.

During Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Johnson called for urgent de-escalation - but added that the Iranian figurehead had the "blood of British troops on his hands".

General Qassem Soleimani
General Soleimani was killed during a US air strike almost two weeks ago, prompting retaliation from Iran (Picture: PA).

Mr Raab also stressed the need to restrict Iran's nuclear ambitions through the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reiterating Britain's commitment to the initiative.

US President Donald Trump has called on the UK, China, France, Russia and Germany to join America in pulling out of the 2015 deal, which restricts Tehran's uranium enrichment capability in return for sanction relief.

Mr Raab acknowledged Iran's "acute" non-compliance with the pact in the past, urging Tehran to "come back to full compliance".

Meanwhile, US Vice President Mike Pence has told CBS News in the US that intelligence suggests Iranian militias will not attack American targets and civilians, after Mr Trump stated that Iran was "standing down".

Speaking in Washington, Mr Raab said: "We want to find a diplomatic route through and that's why I think the president's remarks today about a diplomatic resolution were so important.

"Of course it also means the government in Iran needs to be willing and committed to the outcome as well."

Cover image: Dominic Raab with Mike Pompeo in the US State Department (Picture: US Department of Defense).