UK, Israeli FMs pledge to work 'night and day' to stop Iran from getting nuke

"The clock is ticking, which heightens the need for close cooperation with our partners and friends to thwart Tehran’s ambitions."

 Israel is working in a coordinated way to counter Iran (photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel is working in a coordinated way to counter Iran
(photo credit: REUTERS)

The foreign ministers of the United Kingdom and Israel pledged to work "night and day" to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, just a day before the world powers and Iran met in the UK to discuss a return to the JCPOA nuclear deal, in a joint article for The Daily Telegraph published online on Sunday evening.

"We believe that with the right approach, freedom and democracy will prevail over malign forces," wrote Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in the article titled "Together we can propel both our nations to safety and prosperity."

"We will also work night and day to prevent the Iranian regime from ever becoming a nuclear power," added the two. "The clock is ticking, which heightens the need for close cooperation with our partners and friends to thwart Tehran’s ambitions."

Iran and world powers are set to meet for talks in Vienna concerning a return to the JCPOA nuclear deal. Iranian officials have stated that the talks will not concern "nuclear issues," but will only discuss America's return to the deal and the lifting of sanctions.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned that Israel is "very concerned" about the willingness of the world powers to lift sanctions and allow the flow of billions of dollars to Iran in exchange for what he called "insufficient restrictions on the nuclear program."

 A number of new generation Iranian centrifuges are seen on display during Iran's National Nuclear Energy Day in Tehran, Iran April 10, 2021 (credit: IRANIAN PRESIDENCY OFFICE/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY)/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS) A number of new generation Iranian centrifuges are seen on display during Iran's National Nuclear Energy Day in Tehran, Iran April 10, 2021 (credit: IRANIAN PRESIDENCY OFFICE/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY)/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

In the Daily Telegraph article, the two foreign ministers also condemned the shooting attack in the Old City of Jerusalem last week, as well as the harassment of Israeli Ambassador Tzipi Hotovely outside the London School of Economics recently.

"There is no place for antisemitism around the world," they wrote in the Daily Telegraph article. "That is why the UK has moved decisively to support Israel in this fight by proscribing Hamas in its entirety. The Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre planned near Parliament will stand as a constant reminder, and an answer to the question of why we must stamp out antisemitism and hate wherever and whenever it is found."

The two announced that Israel and the UK were taking a "major step forward" on Monday by signing a new Memorandum of Understanding which will increase cooperation in the fields of cyber, tech, trade and defense.

"This pact will spur technological breakthroughs, which have the potential to change the world, create high-quality jobs in both our countries and provide tools to our security forces. But more than that, it is a victory for optimism," wrote the two foreign ministers.

"We believe that a democracy rooted in freedom – which empowers citizens with the opportunity to innovate, create, and fulfill their dreams – is the finest form of government," they wrote. "As outward-looking patriotic nations, we know that the best way forward lies in building stronger economic, technological and security ties with like-minded partners."

According to the Daily Telegraph article, Israel and the UK have developed a trading relationship worth over NIS 21 billion (£5 billion or $6.6 billion), with Rolls-Royce supplying jet engines to El Al and Teva Pharmaceutical providing one in six of prescription medicines in the National Health Service (NHS).

The two stressed that their countries can "do so much more to create jobs and fuel economic growth," writing that they would "pave the way" to negotiate a UK-Israel free trade agreement.

The article also announced that Israel would become a "Tier One" cyber partner for the UK.

The two foreign ministers referred to the long relationship between the UK and Israel, dating back to Chaim Weizmann, Israel's first president and a renowned scientist who once lectured at the University of Manchester.

"Israel and the UK are the closest of friends, and today we are deepening that partnership to become even closer," they concluded. "Together, we will forge ahead and ensure the future is defined by liberal democracies who believe in freedom and fairness."