Tuesday, June 15, 2021

‘Responsible nations’ should back new Iran sanctions


tiamin rice

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu/ AFP / POOL / ABIR SULTAN

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that all “responsible nations” should back new sanctions against Iran, speaking during a meeting with his British counterpart Theresa May in London.

He said he welcomed US President Donald Trump’s “insistence on new sanctions against Iran. I think other nations should follow suit, certainly responsible nations,” he said, accusing Iran of “provocation after provocation”.

“Iran seeks to annihilate Israel, it says so openly, it seeks to conquer the Middle East, it threatens Europe, it threatens the West, it threatens the world,” he said.

“I’d like to talk to you on how we can ensure that Iran’s aggression does not go unanswered,” he told May.

Trump’s administration last week said Iran was formally “on notice” after a recent missile test and has voiced opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.

Netanyahu is a fierce opponent of the agreement with world powers, including Britain, in which Iran pledged to curb its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief.

The deal was implemented in January 2016. A spokeswoman for May said the prime minister made clear the nuclear agreement “is vital and must be properly enforced and policed, while recognising concerns about Iran’s pattern of destabilising activity in the region.”

During the bilateral talks May “reiterated the UK’s opposition to settlement activity” and said Britain remains committed to a two-state solution “as the best way to bring stability and peace to the region”, her spokeswoman said.

There has been a sharp acceleration in Israeli settlement expansion plans since Trump took office last month, with more than 6,000 new homes announced in less than a fortnight.

Britain voted in favour of a UN Security Council resolution passed in December demanding a halt to settlement construction. The vote prompted Israel to temporarily scale back relations.

But Britain refused to sign the final statement of a Middle East peace conference held in Paris last month that was strongly opposed by Israel.

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