LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May stressed the importance of a 2015 international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday during a brief meeting at her London office.
Tillerson is visiting Britain to discuss the relief effort following Hurricane Irma, North Korea’s nuclear test, and to meet foreign ministers from several different countries about breaking the political deadlock in Libya.
Although not officially on the agenda for the trip, the subject of Iran was raised at the meeting between Tillerson, May and Britain’s national security adviser.
“(They) touched on the Iran nuclear deal, the PM underlining its importance in preventing Iran from procuring nuclear weapons,” May’s spokesman told reporters.
U.S. President Donald Trump has previously expressed doubts about the Iran nuclear deal, which is designed to curb Iran’s nuclear program in return for lifting most Western sanctions.
Trump is weighing a strategy that could allow more aggressive U.S. responses to Iran’s forces, its Shi‘ite Muslim proxies in Iraq and Syria, and its support for militant groups.
Tillerson has publicly said he disagrees with Trump’s views on the nuclear deal, and that it could be used to advance the United States’ relationship with Iran.
“(Tillerson and May) also discussed North Korea and its continuing destabilizing activities,” May’s spokesman said. “They agreed on the importance of the international community continuing to work together to put pressure on the regime.”
North Korea carried out its sixth and largest nuclear test earlier this month.
Tillerson will meet British foreign minister Boris Johnson and a representative from the French government to discuss Hurricane Irma and North Korea.
The three will then be joined by foreign ministers from Italy, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates to discuss Libya with U.N. envoy Ghassan Salame.
Backed by Western governments, the United Nations is trying to heal a rift between Libya’s rival factions in order to stabilize the country and to tackle militant violence and people-smuggling from Libya’s northern coast.
Reporting by William James; Editing by Alison Williams