Foreign Minister Yair Lapid met with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday and reiterated their "shared determination to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, at all costs," as negotiations between Iran and six world powers restarted in Vienna.
The British positions on the Iranian nuclear issue are relatively close to those of Israel, and Israeli officials believe that the United Kingdom is also trying to influence its partners to the agreement.
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In a far-reaching address to the parliamentary group Conservative Friends of Israel, Lapid praised the "deep, practical friendship between political and security partners, who see eye-to-eye on most of the geopolitical issues that preoccupy our world."
He also launched a new strategic plan with the U.K. and Israel spanning cyber, tech, trade, and defense. On Sunday, the foreign minister penned a joint op-ed piece in the British newspaper The Telegraph on the deal and on their shared commitment to “work night and day to prevent the Iranian regime from ever becoming a nuclear power.”
"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," Lapid told the parliamentary group lunch.
"That is why we will pave the way to negotiating a bespoke U.K.-Israel free trade agreement. We know the opportunities of the future will come from technology, which is why Israel and the U.K. are going further and faster to innovate. Our partnership will keep us at the forefront of the technological revolution and maximize our competitive advantage. The U.K. will also open its doors to high-growth Israeli tech firms," he added.
The foreign minister also thanked the U.K. for its recent decision to designate all of Hamas as a terrorist organization, singling out British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who he met earlier on Monday, and Home Secretary Priti Patel "for their leadership on this issue."
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"The Iranians are coming to these talks for only one reason – to get sanctions lifted. They need money. For Hezbollah, for the Revolutionary Guards, for their global terrorist network, and for their continued race towards a nuclear weapon," Lapid said in a joint press conference in London with Truss.
"They will play for time, earn billions from the removal of sanctions, continue to deceive the world, and covertly advance their nuclear program. This is what they have done in the past, and it is what they will do this time as well," Lapid added.
Lapid's visit is part of an intensified diplomatic effort to pressure Iran, with renewed nuclear talks underway. On Tuesday, Lapid will visit Paris and hold a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron also regarding the Iranian nuclear program.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.