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Britain Can't Depend On U.S. Leadership In Middle East, Lawmakers Say


U.S. President Donald Trump's administration could "destabilize" relations with Iran and the Middle East, British lawmakers say in a new report.

Top British lawmakers say that Britain can no longer rely on U.S. leadership in the Middle East and that London must work more closely with Europe to ensure the Iran nuclear deal stays in place.

"We can no longer assume America will set the tone for the West's relationship with the Middle East," David Howell, chairman of the British House of Lords International Relations Committee, said in a May 2 report.

With respect to Iran and the Arab-Israeli conflict, "the new U.S. administration has the potential to destabilize further the region," the report said. "The U.S. president has taken positions that are unconstructive and could even escalate conflict."

The deal between Iran and six major powers restricts Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from international sanctions.

U.S. President Donald Trump has called the agreement "the worst deal ever negotiated" and his administration is reviewing whether it should continue to lift sanctions.

By contrast, the report said Britain should make developing trade with Iran a top priority after it exits the European Union, and London should work with the EU to ease restrictions on banks lending money for business and investment in Iran.

Based on reporting by Reuters
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