U.K. Opposed to Scrapping Iran Nuclear Deal, Britain's May Tells Netanyahu

Israeli official says Netanyahu told May that the deal, as it currently stands, does not allow real oversite of Iran's nuclear program

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, right, meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Downing Street, London, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017.
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, right, meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Downing Street, London, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. Peter Nicholls/AP

British Prime Minister Theresa May stressed Monday in a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.K. was opposed to scrapping the nuclear agreement reached between Iran and Western world powers. A statement released by her office said May told Netanyahu that the U.K. "remains firmly committed to the deal and that we believe it is vitally important for regional security."

The agreement is important because it "neutralized the possibility of the Iranians acquiring nuclear weapons for more than a decade," May told Netanyahu, according to the statement from Downing St. " Prime Minister [May] said it was important that the deal is carefully monitored and properly enforced, and that both sides deliver on their commitments."

A senior Israeli official noted that Netanyahu told May during their conversation that the deal, as it currently stands, does not allow real oversite of Iran's nuclear program. According to the official, Netanyahu warned of Iran's continued regional aggression and of its ballistic missile program.

The phone call between the two leaders comes ahead of Trump's expected announcement next week regarding the Iran deal. Trump is expected to make a speech in which he will announce that the nuclear agreement is not in the U.S.'s security interests, and will leave it to Congress to decide whether to re-impose economic sanctions on Tehran.

Netanyahu has himself in the recent weeks expressed public support for an American withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, as well as canceling or amending the agreement itself.

According the statement from Downing St., May and Netanyahu agreed that the international community must address the threat Iran poses to Gulf state and the entire Middle East, and that world nations must act together to stop Iran's attempt to undermine regional stability.

Netanyahu and May are expected to meet on November 1, when Netanyahu arrives in London for the centennial of the Balfour Declaration. The British statement also stressed that there was a desire to increase and strengthen security and economic cooperation between the two nations.