Time is running out to stop Iran, Israel's point is clear - Johnson to Herzog

Herzog said that Israel expects it allies to be tough with Iran since it does not believe that Iran can be trusted.

 President Isaac Herzog meets with British PM Johnson in London on November 23, 2021.  (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
President Isaac Herzog meets with British PM Johnson in London on November 23, 2021.
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

President Isaac Herzog called on the UK to be tough in the upcoming nuclear negotiations with Iran, in his meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Downing Street on Tuesday.

Johnson said that Israel’s point was “well-made, and we see a situation in which the world doesn’t have much time.”

Herzog said that Israel expects it allies to be tough with Iran since it does not believe that Iran can be trusted, and is using the talks to continue its pursuit of an illicit nuclear capability. The way to do that, he said, was to make sure that all options are on the table, implying a military option.

“As you enter your negotiations with the P5+1 on the Iranian nuclear situation, we are looking forward for our allies in the P5+1 to be as tough as possible, because we do not believe that they are operating in a bona fide manner, and only if all options are on the table may things move in the right direction,” Herzog said.

The president also thanked Johnson for the UK’s recent decision to label all of Hamas as a terrorist organization.

“This is a very important message to terror organizations and global radicals trying to undermine the situation in the Middle East,” said Herzog.

 President Isaac Herzog meets with British PM Johnson in London on November 23, 2021.  (credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO) President Isaac Herzog meets with British PM Johnson in London on November 23, 2021. (credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

Johnson concurred, saying “it was a difficult and controversial decision but I think the right thing, and by the way a decision that I think was almost immediately vindicated by the appalling incident that we saw in Israel. Terrible, terrible thing.

An exuberant Johnson greeted Herzog at the entrance to the prime minister’s official residence.

“It is fantastic to welcome President Herzog to London, we’ve known each other a long time,” Johnson said. “We are very proud that you should make this trip to the UK at an early part of your tenure, and we regard that as an important testimony to the strength of the relationship.”

In thanking Johnson for hosting him, Herzog reminded the prime minister of his family ties to Britain, which go back for more than a century.

“We are very honored to have this unique relationship with the United Kingdom,” said Herzog, who also expressed appreciation for Johnson’s leadership and his “moral clarity when it comes to the State of Israel and the Jewish people and fighting antisemitism.”

This may have resulted from Johnson having volunteered on a kibbutz as a young man.

Herzog also referred to Johnson ‘s leadership in Glasgow during COP26, to which Johnson’s response was: “And I want to thank Israel for what you did there. You were great.”

Herzog said that he would deliver that message to Israel’s government.

As he has done in other meetings during his visit to the UK, Herzog commended Britain for developing its own narrative and willingness in the global arena. There was much for the two countries to discuss, he said, including a trade agreement.

In concurring, Johnson indicated that he was equally eager to discuss other issues in the region and beyond.