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UK, Israel join forces to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons

November 29, 2021
An exhibition of Iran's new nuclear achievements in Tehran.
An exhibition of Iran's new nuclear achievements in Tehran.

LONDON — The foreign ministers of UK and Israel have declared that they will work “night and day” to stop Iran getting a nuclear weapon as they sign a “historic” 10-year plan for deepening ties.

In a joint article for The Daily Telegraph, Liz Truss, the British Foreign Secretary, and Yair Lapid, Israel’s foreign affairs minister, preview their new “memorandum of understanding”.

The agreement, which will be signed on Monday, will enable the UK and Israel to work more closely on issues such as cybersecurity, technology development, defence, trade and science.

It will see Israel become one of the UK’s most trusted allies in thwarting cyber attacks, according to a Foreign Office insider. Talks on a trade deal are also set to begin early next year.

“We believe that a democracy rooted in freedom - which empowers citizens with the opportunity to innovate, create and fulfil their dreams - is the finest form of government,” the two ministers write.

One of the most eye-catching aspects of their joint piece is a renewed commitment to stop Tehran ever getting nuclear weapons - a subject of talks that start again this week.

Negotiators from the UK will join those of other signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal as talks restart in Vienna on Monday.

The original agreement was struck in 2015 and saw Iran agree to stop pursuing its nuclear programme in return for economic sanctions being lifted by the other countries.

However, Donald Trump withdrew America from the deal during his presidency and reimposed sanctions, prompting Iran to push ahead with its nuclear advancement once again.

Since Joe Biden has taken over the White House there have been hopes of a renewed deal with Tehran but talks remain at an impasse.

The original signatories to the JCPOA were China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, the UK, the US and the European Union.

Barack Obama hailed the original agreement as one of his most significant foreign policy achievements but Mr Trump dubbed it the “worst deal ever” and made it a campaign issue in the 2016 election, which he won.

Israel and the UK have a trading relationship worth £5 billion. Rolls-Royce supplies jet engines to Israel’s national airline and the Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva provides one in six of the NHS’s prescription medicines.

Ms Truss was closely involved with preparations for trade deal talks as international trade secretary, the role she held until Boris Johnson’s Cabinet reshuffle in September.

Still only two months into her job as Foreign Secretary, Ms Truss has said she wants to put economic diplomacy at the heart of her approach to reshaping Britain’s foreign policy. — Agencies


November 29, 2021
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