Donald Trump would be in line for the Nobel Peace Prize if he can fix the Iran nuclear deal, according to Boris Johnson.
The Foreign Secretary is on a diplomatic dash to the United States in the hope of persuading the president not to pull out of the long-fought for agreement.
Mr Trump has branded the accord the “worst” deal ever backed by the US and will decide on May 12 whether to reimpose sanctions and effectively torpedo the international alliance behind the deal.
Mr Johnson is meeting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo but is not scheduled to hold talks with Mr Trump.
Instead, he appeared on the president’s favourite TV programme in an effort to save the deal.
The Foreign Secretary told the Fox & Friends morning news show the agreement should not be ditched.
He said: “If you do that you have to answer the question what next?
“What if the Iranians do rush for a nuclear weapon? Are we seriously saying that we are going to bomb those facilities at Fordo and Natanz?
“Is that really a realistic possibility? Or do we work round what we have got and push back on Iran together?”
In a separate interview during the visit, Mr Johnson raised the prospect of Mr Trump winning the Nobel Peace Prize.
He told Sky News: “If he can fix North Korea and if he can fix the Iran nuclear deal then I don’t see why he is any less of a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize than Barack Obama, who got it before he even did anything.”
The decision to award Mr Obama the prize in 2009 just a short time after he entered the White House proved controversial.
British, French and German diplomats have been working for weeks behind the scenes with US counterparts in an effort to preserve the Iran deal.
The UK’s ambassador to the United States Sir Kim Darroch said the Iran agreement was “a good deal” but efforts were ongoing to “find some language, produce some action that meets the president’s concerns”.
He told CBS: “We have been talking at senior official level to the administration with our French and German colleagues for several weeks now.
“We think we’re making progress. We haven’t got there yet. We have a few days left to see if we can find a way through.”
Sir Kim said that “Plan A is that the US stays in the deal” but “we are looking at all eventualities”.
The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their âpockets.â The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
Mr Trump has threatened to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal signed by the US, China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain with Iran.
Under its terms, Iran is committed to a peaceful nuclear energy programme.
But Mr Trump has been a vocal critic of the agreement and in January issued an ultimatum to “either fix the deal’s disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw”.