British PM: Time for tough diplomacy with Iran
Cameron: Israeli military action against Tehran will give it "a cause to rally its people around"; UK appoints first tech envoy to Israel.
David Cameron at UJIA fundraiser Photo: Isaac Strang/UJIA
LONDON – British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday urged Jerusalem not to
resort to military action against Iran, “the clear and present danger facing
Israel,” but said that “nothing was off the table.”
It was time for
diplomacy and for Israel to allow more time for sanctions, Cameron said,
speaking to a Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) event in central
“I have said to Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu that now is
the time for tough diplomacy, not for military action. Military action could
have grave consequences for the region,” he said.
An Israeli attack would
only give more fire power to the Iranian regime – “a cause to rally its people
around, a foreign enemy to hate, and we cannot give that beleaguered regime more
oxygen. Instead, we have got to give these sanctions time to work,” Cameron
“But let me be absolutely clear, if Iran makes the wrong choice –
nothing – and I mean nothing – is off the table,” he told an audience of over
500 people, including diplomats, MPs, business leaders and community
“Britain will work relentlessly to prevent a nuclear-armed
Iran, not just for the sake of Israel, but for the peace and security of the
world,” he said.
Cameron also reaffirmed his commitment to
“Two-and-a-half years into my job as prime minister, it’s true
that I’ve changed in some ways, but there is something that has absolutely,
categorically not changed about me – and that is my commitment to Israel,” he
“I’m not an acquaintance of Israel. I’m not a colleague of Israel.
I am a passionate friend of Israel – and that’s the way it’s going to stay,” the
prime minister added.
The British government also announced the
appointment of the first tech envoy to Israel to bolster trade, boost innovation
and economic growth in both countries.
Cameron announced at the CFI event
that Saul Klein, a partner in the international investment company Index
Ventures, would be the UK's tech envoy to Israel.
“We want to work much
more closely with Israel on innovation and technology. That’s why a year
ago we launched the UK-Israel tech hub to link up with UK Israel Business, the
Israeli Embassy here in London and countless talented young people in both our
countries,” the prime minister said.
Klein will promote the growing
UK-Israel tech partnership between the Israel and the UK, working with the
recently established UK Israel Tech Hub and UK Israel Tech Council. He will lead
UK tech missions to Israel, bring Israeli start-ups to Britain and host tech
events in both countries.
A successful businessman and venture
capitalist, Klein has a track record in developing successful start-ups in both
Britain and Israel.
“I have worked in tech in both the UK and Israel, and
I know that there is a huge potential synergy between our two tech economies,”
“Britain could get a huge economic boost by partnering up with
Israeli tech. Israeli innovation could benefit from using Britain’s
global reach, world-class companies, our scientific base, our capital markets
and our business development expertise.
“It’s appropriate that our first
ever tech envoy should be to the ‘Start-Up Nation,’ and I look forward to
helping build the tech partnership that ought to exist between us,” Klein said.