Boris Johnson has called on Iran to stick to its nuclear agreement with the UK, France and Germany in a bid to protect companies fearful of being penalised for doing business there.
The announcement by Donald Trump that the US would pull out of the agreement came with the restoration of sanctions against Tehran, including six individuals and three companies it claims are funnelling millions of dollars to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force.
Foreign firms engaging in trade in Iran have also been threatened with punishment, with all manner of companies including Renault, Siemens and Total among those tied up in billions of dollars worth of deals.
Mr Johnson revealed on Monday that he would discuss ways to protect them during a meeting with fellow foreign ministers from France and Germany on Tuesday.
He said: “What we are going to do tomorrow in Brussels is we are going to have a conversation about what we can do to help UK firms, European firms have some confidence that they can still do business.”
In the wake of the US President’s controversial decision, Mr Johnson told the House of Commons that Britain “has no intention of walking away” from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Germany and France joined him in reiterating their commitment to the deal, which restricts Iran’s nuclear capabilities in return for the lifting of economic sanctions.
Theresa May also challenged Mr Trump on the impact that sanctions could have on UK firms doing business in Iran during a phone call last week.
The Prime Minister had already issued a joint statement with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to express their “regret and concern”.
Iran has reacted furiously to the US pulling out of the deal, with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accusing Mr Trump of threatening its government and its people.
Mr Khamenei said that while Iranian officials “want to continue the nuclear deal” with Britain, France and Germany, he “did not trust these countries either”.
He continued: “If you could get guarantees from them in such a way that they can be trusted, no problem then you can continue.
“If you cannot get such a strong guarantee from them, and I see it very unlikely that you can, we could not move and continue like this anymore.”
Iranian officials have said they hope Europe will work with them to preserve the deal.