The special relationship between the US and UK has taken a battering lately. Following the UK defence secretary’s comments that Britain would not automatically back the US in future wars, Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on President Donald Trump to “dial down” his conflict with Iran in a reprimanding tone.
Speaking to the BBC this morning in a live interview inside his Downing Street residence, Johnson said “Let me be very clear. I don’t want a military conflict between us, the United States and Iran.”
His comment “let’s dial this down” coming as Trump assumed a boastful and aggressive stance towards Iran, has been seen as an attempt to mock the US president.
This wouldn’t be the first time though that Johnson has been seen to be mocking Trump. He was filmed with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and France’s President Emmanuel Macron mockingly discussing Trump’s behaviour at the NATO summit in December.
While Mayor of London he ridiculed Trump’s comments about the Muslim ban saying: “I think Donald Trump is clearly out of his mind if he thinks that’s a sensible way to proceed, to ban people going to the United States in that way, or to any country.”
Johnson also dismissed Trump’s suggestion that there were “no go areas” in London in a mocking tone. “I think he’s betraying a quite stupefying ignorance that makes him frankly unfit to hold the office of President of the United States,” he said.
After appearing to mock Trump during the BBC interview, Johnson said: “President Trump is a great deal maker,” before adding “by his own account, and many others.”
The latest escalation in violence was summed up by the prime minister as the result of American concerns over the Iran nuclear deal. “Let’s work together to replace the JCPOA and get the Trump deal instead,” said Johnson after pointing out that the current deal was made by Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.
Some British commentators have been surprised by the tone of the Number 10 at a time when the UK is about to leave the EU and needs the US more than ever.
The White House is unlikely to have appreciated Johnson’s rebuke of Trump after the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. Reacting to Trump’s threat to strike Iranian cultural sites Johnson said that it would be against “international conventions”.