LONDON (AP) — A U.K. newspaper published more leaked memos from Britain’s ambassador in Washington on Sunday, despite a police warning that doing so might be a crime.

In one 2018 cable published by the Mail on Sunday, U.K. ambassador Kim Darroch says President Donald Trump pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran as an act of “diplomatic vandalism” to spite his predecessor, Barack Obama.

The memo was written after then-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited Washington in a failed attempt to persuade the U.S. not to abandon the Iran nuclear agreement.

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British Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson gets in a car as he leaves home in south London, Tuesday, June 18, 2019. Contenders for leadership in Britain’s ruling Conservative Party to become the next Prime Minister, jostled for attention Monday as the race narrowed into a contest to seize the mantle of challenger to front-runner Boris Johnson. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

British Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson leaves home in south London, Tuesday, June 18, 2019. Contenders for leadership in Britain’s ruling Conservative Party to become the next Prime Minister, jostled for attention Monday as the race narrowed into a contest to seize the mantle of challenger to front-runner Boris Johnson. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is an American-born British journalist and former mayor of London.

Britain’s Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson talks during the first party hustings at the ICC in Birmingham, England, Saturday June 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

British Conservative Party leadership and prime minister contender Boris Johnson leaves home in south London, Friday, June 21, 2019. Britain’s next leader will be chosen by about 160,000 members of the governing Conservative Party in a runoff between two candidates: former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

British Conservative Party leadership and prime minister contender Boris Johnson gets in a car as he leaves home in south London, Friday, June 21, 2019. Britain’s next leader will be chosen by about 160,000 members of the governing Conservative Party in a runoff between two candidates: former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

British Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson arrives for a live TV debate in central London Tuesday, June 18, 2019. Britain’s Conservative Party is holding a contest to replace Prime Minister Theresa May, and party legislators will continue to hold elimination votes until the final two contenders will be put to a vote of Conservative Party members nationwide, with the winner due to become Conservative Party leader and prime minister. (AP Photo/Vudi Xhymshiti)

British Conservative Party lawmaker Boris Johnson leaves his home in London, Thursday, June 13, 2019. Britain’s Conservative Party is holding an election to replace Prime Minister Theresa May, who resigned last week after failing to lead Britain out of the European Union on schedule. Former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson is currently the bookies favorite to replace May. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Britain’s Conservative Party lawmaker Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks during the official launch of his leadership campaign, in London, Wednesday June 12, 2019. Boris Johnson solidified his front-runner status in the race to become Britain’s next prime minister on Tuesday, gaining backing from leading pro-Brexit lawmakers.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)




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“The outcome illustrated the paradox of this White House: you got exceptional access, seeing everyone short of the president; but on the substance, the administration is set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons – it was Obama’s deal,” Darroch wrote.

Darroch announced his resignation last week after the newspaper published cables in which he’d branded the Trump administration dysfunctional and inept. The White House responded by refusing to deal with him, and Trump branded the ambassador a “pompous fool” in a Twitter fusillade.

U.K. police are hunting the culprits behind the leak — and, contentiously, have warned journalists that publishing the documents “could also constitute a criminal offence.”

Yet both Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, the two contenders to become Britain’s next prime minister, have defended the media’s right to publish.

“We have to make sure that we defend the right of journalists to publish leaks when they are in the national interest,” Hunt said.

British officials have said they have no evidence that hacking was involved in the documents’ release, and that the culprit is likely to be found among politicians or civil servants in London.

Police are investigating the leak as a potential breach of the Official Secrets Act, which bars public servants from making “damaging” disclosures of classified material. Breaking the act carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison, though prosecutions are rare.

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