May and Netanyahu discuss Iran

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Prime Minister Theresa May spoke with her Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in a telephone call yesterday, ahead of the Israeli Prime Ministers visit to London next month to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. 

The telephone call was part of a concerted effort by the UK, France and Germany to consolidate support for the JCPOA nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 (US, Russia, China, UK, France and Germany). US President Donald Trump is expected to unveil a new Iran strategy this week in Washington, which could include a declaration that Iran is not complying with the terms of the nuclear agreement. May urged the President to stick with the agreement when they last met in New York in September. 

Downing Street issued a statement confirming that May and Netanyahu discussed Iran, with May “noting the importance of the nuclear deal with Iran which has neutralised the possibility of the Iranians acquiring nuclear weapons for more than a decade”. May said the UK “remains firmly committed to the deal and that we believe it is vitally important for regional security”.  The UK Prime Minister said it was important that the deal is carefully monitored and properly enforced, and that both sides deliver on their commitments.

The two leaders  “agreed that the international community needed to be clear-eyed about the threat that Iran poses to the Gulf and the wider Middle East”. They added that Netanyahu and May believe that the international community should collaborate “to push back against Iran’s destabilising regional activity”.

The statement said that trade was also discussed. May and Netanyahu said that the UK-Israel bilateral relationship “would continue to go from strength to strength”. They noted that the UK-Israel trade working group had already met to discuss how the two countries can have a free-trade deal as Britain leaves the EU.

 The UK and Israel also work closely together on counter-terrorism and this will continue, said the statement, as “we face shared challenges”.