UK's Hammond: Israel doesn't want any deal with Iran, it wants a permanent state of stand-off

British foreign secretary slams Israel's opposition to Iran deal.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
July 15, 2015 15:54
1 minute read.

UK's Hammond: Israel doesn't want any deal with Iran, it wants a permanent state of stand-off

UK's Hammond: Israel doesn't want any deal with Iran, it wants a permanent state of stand-off

Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told parliament on Wednesday that Israel would not have been satisfied with any kind of nuclear deal with Iran, dismissing criticism of the agreement struck between Tehran and foreign powers.

"The question you have to ask yourself is what kind of a deal would have been welcomed in Tel Aviv. The answer of course is that Israel doesn't want any deal with Iran," Hammond said in response to an opposition legislator who said he objected to the agreement and cited dismay in Tel Aviv.

"Israel wants a permanent state of stand-off and I don't believe that's in the interests of the region. I don't believe it's in our interest," Hammond said.
The Iran Deal: The biggest deal of our time?

Earlier on Tuesday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also criticized Israel's opposition to the deal, saying the agreement will help contribute to security in the Middle East.

"This is a responsible deal and Israel should also take a closer look at it and not criticize the agreement in a very coarse way," Steinmeier told German broadcaster ARD in an interview on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described the deal as a "stunning, historic mistake" and said it would enable Iran to pursue a path to nuclear weapons.

Hammond said on Wednesday that Britain hopes to re-open its embassy in Iran before the end of the year, following the agreement.

"I very much hope that we will be in a position to re-open our respective embassies before the end of the year," Hammond said. The re-opening was dependent on resolving some technical issues, he added, without elaborating.

Diplomatic relations were suspended and the British embassy was closed after hundreds of Iranian demonstrators stormed the building in November 2011.

Hammond also said he had spoken to British finance minister George Osborne to ensure that the country was ready to capitalize on the "quite substantial" business opportunities that would arise from the diplomatic agreement.




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