British Prime Minister Theresa May met her visiting Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in London on Wednesday with the UK premier conceding “differences of opinion” regarding the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Mr. Netanyahu is on a whirlwind diplomatic offensive trying to lobby European leaders to follow the example of the U.S. President Donald J. Trump and pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran.
“Along with France and Germany, the UK continues to believe the JCPOA is the best route to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” Mrs. May said. “We will remain committed to it as long as Iran meets its obligations. But we do recognise that there are other issues that need to be addressed in relation to Iran – its destabilising regional activity in countries like Syria and Yemen and also the proliferation of ballistic missiles.”
Mr. Netanyahu responded by saying he was ensuring Iran did not get a nuclear weapon and on “how to roll back Iran’s aggression in the region”. He stressed the latest plan by Iran to expand its nuclear enrichment capacity was aimed squarely at producing nuclear weapons to be used against Israel
The European Union (EU) is working to save the JCPOA. It warned Tuesday that while the Iranian announcement would not help build confidence in the program, it did not constitute a breach of the deal and the EU will continue to support Iran in opposition to the U.S.
“Following a first assessment, the announced steps per se are not a violation of the JCPOA,” Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini (pictured), told AFP.
“However, at this particularly critical juncture, they will not contribute to build confidence in the nature of the Iranian nuclear program.”
Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: Follow @SunSimonKent or e-mail to: email@example.com