United Kingdom paper: Envoy says Trump quit Iran deal to spite Obama

Clay Curtis
July 14, 2019

"I wish the British ambassador well", Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Friday to head to Wisconsin.

Scotland Yard launched a criminal investigation into the leak of emails sent by Britain's U.S. ambassador Sir Kim Darroch on Friday.

The Metropolitan Police has launched a criminal investigation into the alleged leak of diplomatic emails from Kim Darroch, the UK's ambassador in the United States, where he called American President Donald Trump's administration "inept, insecure and incompetent", the media reported on Saturday.

The memo was written after then-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited Washington in a failed attempt to persuade the USA not to abandon the Iran nuclear agreement.

The paper said Sir Kim had written to the British government in May 2018 that Trump had made a decision to unilaterally withdraw from Iran's nuclear deal with major powers for "personality reasons" because it had been agreed by his predecessor Barack Obama.

The newspaper obtained an earlier set of leaked cables from Darroch blasting Trump as a man who "radiates insecurity" and his administration as "dysfunctional" and "inept".

That prompted a furious response from the USA president, who described Sir Kim as "a very stupid guy" with whom he would no longer deal.

The Mail also published further memos from Sir Kim, defying a police warning that media which did so could be committing a criminal act.

Yet both Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, the two contenders to become Britain's next prime minister, have defended the media's right to publish.

Conservative leadership: Hunt 'expects' Brexit by Christmas
A spokeswoman for Theresa May said: "The Prime Minister has always been clear that leaving without a deal would be disruptive". She said if the future relationship had been negotiated alongside there would not have been the same issue with the backstop.

The London Metropolitan Police said its counter-terrorism command, which takes national responsibility for investigating allegations of criminal breaches of the Official Secrets Act, was leading the investigation.

Asked in Friday's interview if he would be "as craven" a prime minister as he has been a candidate, Johnson said: "We have been very forthright with the United States of America and I will continue to be forthright".

Announcing the police inquiry, Counterterrorism police unit leader Neil Basu warned against any further publication of leaked documents.

The Foreign Office criticized the leak but did not challenge the authenticity of the memos, which characterized the Trump administration as chaotic and inept.

The UK ambassador resigned on Wednesday, saying it was "impossible" to do his job.

The former defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon, however, prompted outrage after he told the Today programme that journalists should be subject to the Official Secrets Act.

Johnson backed those concerns, telling a Tory hustings event in Bedfordshire that any such prosecution would amount to an "infringement of press freedom" and have a "chilling effect" on public debate. It says that because the Iran nuclear deal was essentially seen as an Obama deal, Trump opted out of it without much regard for the consequences.

Iran has been scathing in its criticism of Trump's decision to pull out of the deal and the subsequent decisions to impose tough sanctions.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article