British Prime Minister Theresa May has defied Benjamin Netanyahu by vowing support for Iran’s nuclear deal.
After Iran test-fired a ballistic missile the Israeli Prime Minister said ‘responsible’ nations should follow President Trump’s lead to head of Iranian aggression.
Despite pressure from Netanyahu who met with May at Downing Street yesterday to discuss fresh sanctions on Tehran, the prime minister stood firm in her commitment to the Iranian nuclear deal.
The Independent reports:
But speaking in the Commons shortly after the two leaders met at Number 10 for their first bilateral meeting, Ms May made no mention of further sanctions against Tehran. “We continue to believe the Iran nuclear deal was an important step forward and important contribution to stability in the region and we continue to support it,” she said.
In a briefing of the meeting a Downing Street spokesperson added: “On Iran, the Prime Minister was clear that the nuclear deal is vital and must be properly enforced and policed, while recognising concerns about Iran’s pattern of destabilising activity in the region.”
Speaking in front of TV cameras as they began talks at Number 10, the Israeli PM – who is due to meet Mr Trump in Washington next week – told Mrs May: “Iran seeks to annihilate Israel, it seeks to conquer the Middle East, it threatens Europe, it threatens the West, it threatens the world. And it offers provocation after provocation.
“That’s why I welcome President Trump’s insistence on new sanctions against Iran. I think other nations should follow suit, certainly responsible nations.
“And I’d like to talk to you about how we can ensure that Iran’s aggression does not go unanswered.”
The international nuclear deal, under which sanctions were lifted in return for Tehran giving up its military nuclear ambitions, had “neutralised the possibility of the Iranians acquiring nuclear weapons for more than a decade”, added the PM’s spokeswoman.
Ms May made clear that her top priority for the talks was strengthening trade and investment links ahead of Brexit as well as exploring the potential for a deeper commercial relationship after the UK has left the EU.
She said she believed there was “much more we can do” and it was important to look at how “we can build that relationship”.
They agreed to set up a new UK-Israel trade working group, with trade minister Lord Price to visit Israel soon to take discussions forward.