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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
London - Asharq Al-Awsat

Netanyahu Calls on Major Powers to Increase Pressure on Iran

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Downing Street in London, Britain March 24, 2023. (Reuters)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged major international powers to step up pressure and increase deterrence against Iran.

According to the Israeli premier’s Facebook page, Netanyahu, who is on an official visit to London, discussed with his British counterpart, Rishi Sunak, the Iranian nuclear file, and praised Britain’s firm position on the issue.

The two sides also agreed to launch a strategic dialogue to enhance cooperation in the fields of security, intelligence and economy, and pointed to the threats posed by Tehran to regional stability.

In addition, Netanyahu and Sunak touched on common security and defense challenges, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The two leaders discussed the “grave” concern of Britain and Israel over Iran’s destabilizing activity, and agreed to work closely together to manage the risks of nuclear proliferation.

Prior to his meetings in London, Netanyahu visited Rome as part of his diplomatic campaign that seeks to persuade Western countries to oppose a return to the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement.

A statement by the British Prime Minister’s office said Sunak welcomed Netanyahu at 10 Downing Street on Friday “for talks on strengthening the close partnership between the United Kingdom and Israel.”

“The two leaders welcomed the signing of the UK-Israel 2030 Roadmap this week, which will drive our bilateral relationship forward and commit £20m in funding for joint science and technology projects over the next decade,” it stated.

It also said Sunak expressed his solidarity with Israel in against terrorist attacks in recent months, and that the United Kingdom would always stand by Israel and its ability to defend itself.

The statement continued: “At the same time, the PM outlined international concern at growing tensions in the West Bank and the risk of undermining efforts towards the two-state solution. He encouraged all efforts to de-escalate, particularly ahead of the upcoming religious holidays.”

Meanwhile, hundreds of demonstrators rallied on Friday outside Downing Street, protesting contentious planned judicial reform by Netanyahu’s hardline government.

Netanyahu has faced weeks of escalating protests inside Israel over the judicial reform program, which would increase politicians’ power over the courts.

Several Western countries, including the United States and Germany, expressed their concern over the plan, while Britain has not commented publicly on the issue.

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