In these abridged highlights of a speech delivered at the Chatham House think tank in London on October 23, 2017, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson warns against the danger of “rogue states” like Iran or North Korea being able to produce nuclear weapons, condemning the Iranian regime’s destabilising regional activities and lauding US President Donald Trump’s policy
In this section of the speech, the British Foreign Secretary begins by noting that prior to the signing of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran and the P5+1 nations, “Iran had enough centrifuges and low-enriched uranium to be only months away from producing the essential material for at least one nuclear weapon.”
He continues, “Let us remember what the consequences would have been – for Iran and the world – if Tehran had gone down that road.
Never mind the response of Israel, or indeed the United States to the fact of nuclear weapons in the grip of the Iranians, a regime that has been capable of blood-curdling rhetoric about the mere existence of the ‘Zionist entity’.
A nuclear-armed Iran would have placed irresistible pressure on neighboring countries to up the ante, and to trigger an arms race in what is already one of the most volatile regions of the world.
Imagine all those mutually contaminating sectarian, dynastic and internecine conflicts in the Middle East today. Then turn the dial, and add a nuclear arms race.
Think of the nightmare that deal has avoided.
….But that does not mean for one minute that we should write Iran off, or that we should refuse to engage with Iran or that we should show disrespect to its people.
…We are one of the handful specifically recognized by the NPT to possess such dreadful weapons, and we do so not just in the name of our own security but also – via NATO – for the protection of dozens of our allies.
And by holding that stockpile – a minimum stockpile, I should say, which has been reduced by half since its Cold War peak – we play our part in deterring the ambitions of rogue states.”
In the second half of this video, the head of the Iranian judiciary, Sadeq Larijani, slams Johnson’s speech, saying, “Europeans’ other plans seemingly became crossed in their minds, that is to preserve the JCPOA but only on the missile issue, while [regarding] Iran’s presence in the region they are meddling in it as they said that Iran should negotiate these issues, including the JCPOA.
Our word to the Europeans is that you do not have the right to interfere in our defense affairs. How should it be that England and America have bases in the south of the Arabian Gulf, including having missile and military bases, and then come to say to Iran, ‘You should not strengthen your defense missile system’? They should not repeat such irrational and incorrect words. The Europeans must know that as Iran stood in the face of America, it will stand in the face of Europeans too.”