Leaked UK memo says Trump axed Iran deal to spite Obama

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn pay tribute to Sir Kim Darroch's service

"Sir Nigel Sheinwald, who was United Kingdom ambassador to the USA from 2007 to 2012, told the paper he suspected that whoever was behind the leak "has in mind a wider target of our system of public service and wanted to influence the way the next government handled the civil service, and was perhaps trying to influence the succession of Kim Darroch".

The cable was included in a second batch of leaked reports published by the Mail on Sunday newspaper, the first of which caused Darroch to resign earlier this week.

The British ambassador to the US who quit over leaked memos criticizing Donald Trump and his administration claimed that the president pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to spite his predecessor Barack Obama.

According to the Mail newspaper on Sunday, the memo was written after the then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson appealed to the United States in 2018 to stick with the nuclear deal, the BBC reported.

The London police said on Friday they have launched an investigation into the alleged leaks of the official memos that led to the resignation of the British ambassador to Washington.

Last week the newspaper published other leaked memos from Darroch about Trump in which the diplomat described the US leader as "inept", "insecure" and "incompetent" and his administration as "uniquely dysfunctional".

In furious verbal attacks on Darroch, Trump has described the ambassador as "wacky", "a very stupid guy" and a "pompous fool".

The Mail also published further memos from Sir Kim, defying a police warning that media which did so could be committing a criminal act.

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Darroch resigned after the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, refused to publicly stand up for him during a televised debate with his rival for the post, current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The British government had opened its own inquiry into the leaks this week and noted it had involved the police to ascertain whether any documents protected by the Official Secrets Act had been shared.

London's Metropolitan Police said its counter-terrorism command, which takes national responsibility for investigating allegations of criminal breaches of the Official Secrets Act, was leading the investigation. US President Donald Trump Touts His Record on Environment, Says "I Will Ensure America Has Cleanest Air, Water".

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said the Metropolitan Police had been given legal advice that there is "no public interest defence".

He urged whoever was responsible to turn themselves in and "face the consequences". In them, Darroch called Trump's administration inept. Darroch resigned on Wednesday.

Shortly after, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, among the deal's most vocal critics, boasted to Likud party activists that he had been the one to convince Trump to pull out of the accord.

The Society of Editors, which represents more than 400 media executives, said that the Met's initial warning demonstrated a "truly worrying lack of understanding of how a free press works in a liberal democracy".

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