Boris Johnson’s father has told Press TV that his son could resolve the tanker dispute “easy peasy”, hours after Johnson himself attacked the leader of the opposition for appearing on the channel.
During his first address to the House of Commons as Prime Minister, Johnson said that Jeremy Corbyn “repeatedly sides with the mullahs of Tehran rather than our friends in the United States over what is happening in the Persian Gulf.”
Easing tensions with Iran will be Johnson’s biggest foreign policy challenge in the context of growing tension between the UK and Iran over events in the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s busiest oil shipping lane at the entrance to the Gulf.
Earlier in the week Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani implied that if the UK releases the Iranian oil tanker it will release the British-flagged vessel.
In an interview former Conservative MEP Stanley Johnson told Press TV that “the best thing would be to say look, we let your ship go, you let our ship go, easy peasy,” echoing the Iranian president’s words.
He also said he was looking forward to his son “building bridges with Iran” and having “longstanding relations with a country with such a fantastic history.”
UK-Iran relations have deteriorated since last year when the US ramped up sanctions on Iran to force it to renegotiate a 2015 nuclear deal. Britain, along with other signatories to the pact, disagreed with the American president’s decision to leave the agreement.
In May last year London sent then Foreign Secretary Johnson to Washington to persuade Trump not to unilaterally withdraw from the pact. There is speculation as to whether the US will apply pressure on Johnson to break away from the European line.
Earlier this week British MP Matthew Offord told i24news that “the nuclear deal is all but dead… I think the government of Boris Johnson will recognise that.”
During the Conservative Party leadership contest Trump favoured Johnson, calling him “Britain’s Trump” which analysts take as a sign that the UK and the US will move even closer together.