Boris Johnson urges Donald Trump to 'dial down' his conflict with Iran

  • Boris Johnson tells Donald Trump to step back from outright war with Iran.
  • "Let's dial this down," the UK prime minister said, adding that 'I don't want a military conflict between us, the United States and Iran,' in an interview with the BBC.
  • Johnson also appeared to mock Trump's boastfulness, calling him 'a great deal maker, by his own account.'
  • The comments came as the UK defence secretary said the country would need to forge new defence alliances with other countries as the US risks '[withdrawing] from its leadership around the world.'

Boris Johnson has told Donald Trump to "dial down" his conflict with Iran and step back from outright war.

The UK Prime Minister said on Tuesday that war in the region would not be in the UK's interests.

"Let me be very clear. I don't want a military conflict between us, the United States and Iran," he told the BBC in a live interview inside his Downing Street residence.

"Let's dial this down."

In comments which appeared to mock the president's boastfulness, Johnson also insisted that the Iranian nuclear deal should be replaced with a new deal negotiated by the president.

"President Trump is a great deal maker," Johnson said, before cheekily adding "by his own account, and many others."

He said: "Let's work together to replace the JCPOA and get the Trump deal instead."

"The assumptions of 2010 that we were always going to be part of a U.S. coalition is really just not where we are going to be," Ben Wallace told the Sunday Times.

Wallace said that Trump's isolationist policy, in which it risks "[withdrawing] from its leadership around the world" meant the UK would need to look to other international defence allies in future.

"We are very dependent on American air cover and American intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets," he said.

"We need to diversify our assets."

Wallace's comments were described by the former Conservative foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt on Monday as "courageous and right."

"American commitment to leadership of the alliance of democracies is weaker than it's been in some time," Hunt told BBC Newsnight.

"Ben Wallace pointing out that we can't take American leadership for granted is courageous and right." 

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, right, and U.S. President Donald Trump pose during a group photo during a NATO leaders meeting at The Grove hotel and resort in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg rejected Wednesday French criticism that the military alliance is suffering from brain death, and insisted that the organization is adapting to modern challenges. (Peter Nicholls, Pool Photo via AP)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, reaches out to shake hands with U.S. President Donald Trump at the official arrivals for a NATO leaders meeting at The Grove hotel and resort in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg rejected Wednesday French criticism that the military alliance is suffering from brain death, and insisted that the organization is adapting to modern challenges. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks over to U.S. President Donald Trump who is talking to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prior to a NATO leaders meeting at The Grove hotel and resort in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. As NATO leaders meet and show that the world's biggest security alliance is adapting to modern threats, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is refusing to concede that the future of the 29-member alliance is under a cloud. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, right, and U.S. President Donald Trump pose during a group photo during a NATO leaders meeting at The Grove hotel and resort in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg rejected Wednesday French criticism that the military alliance is suffering from brain death, and insisted that the organization is adapting to modern challenges. (Peter Nicholls, Pool Photo via AP)
President Donald Trump meets with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, in New York. In a decision with wide-ranging political ramifications, Britain's Supreme Court plans to give its verdict Tuesday on the legality of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's five-week suspension of Parliament. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump meets with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump meets with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump meets with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson attend a working breakfast at the Hotel du Palais on the sidelines of the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, speak to the media before a working breakfast meeting at the Hotel du Palais on the sidelines of the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019. (Erin Schaff, The New York Times, Pool)
FILE - In this Aug. 25, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, speak to the media before a working breakfast meeting at the Hotel du Palais on the sidelines of the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France. Johnson says he’ll tell President Donald Trump that the U.K.’s state-funded health service will be off the table in any future trade negotiations, and that the U.S. will have to open its markets to British goods if it wants to make a deal. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times, Pool, File)
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Trump threatens to cut off intelligence ties with the UK

The comments came as the U.S. threatened to cut off security ties with the UK, if Johnson allows Chinese telecoms company Huawei, a role in Britain's 5G network.

"Congress has made it clear they will want an evaluation of our intelligence sharing," one senior US official told the Guardian, with another official adding that "Donald Trump is watching closely."

However, Johnson refused to rule out going ahead with the Huawei deal, telling the BBC that "The British public deserves access to the best possible technology."

He added: "If people oppose one brand or another they have to tell us what's the alternative?"

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