Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants his British counterpart to back his call for a tougher international stance against Iran.
Before meeting with the British Prime Minister at Downing Street Netanyahu said that Iran’s aggression cannot go unanswered
He has urged Theresa May to pledge her support for renewed sanctions against Iran after the country recently test-fired a ballistic missile
‘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,’ the Israeli Prime Minister said.
The Independent reports:
Mr Netanyahu took the unusual step of using the so-called “warm words” in front of the cameras, ahead of the formal discussions, to make clear he wants to see Britain take action against Iran.
“We face challenges, that’s very clear, from militant Islam and especially from Iran,” he said.
“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 (US) President Trump’s assistance of 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.”
Before the meeting between the two Prime Ministers began, however, there was an awkward moment due to the early arrival of Mr Netanyahu at Downing Street. He arrived two minutes before schedule and Ms May failed to meet him outside the door of Number 10, leaving him in the street for around 15 seconds before he entered alone.
But the pair emerged around two minutes later to shake hands in front of the assembled media from Britain and Israel. Downing Street said Ms May had planned to meet him outside but his slightly early arrival and a mix-up inside Number 10 meant the photo opportunity did not progress as planned.
The Prime Minister is also under pressure to raise the issue of Israeli settlement building on occupied Palestinian land – something Britain has long opposed.
However Jeremy Corbyn said that was “simply not good enough” and called on the Prime Minister to stand up for Palestinian rights in her meeting with Mr Netanyahu.
Speaking ahead of the visit the Labour leader said: “When Theresa May meets the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tomorrow, she has let it be known she will tell him that building settlements on occupied Palestinian land “undermines trust”.
“That is simply not good enough. The Israeli government’s decision to build 3,000 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem is illegal under international law and a threat to peace and international security.
“It undermines still further the prospect of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, about which the Netanyahu government is increasingly contemptuous.