Britain and Israel will “work day and night” to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, the two countries’ foreign ministers wrote in a joint article.
“The clock is ticking, which increases the need for close cooperation with our partners and friends in order to thwart Tehran’s ambitions,” wrote Briton Liz Truss and her Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid in The Telegraph newspaper on Sunday.
Lapid arrived in London on Sunday for a two-day trip to the UK and France, a day before talks on restarting Iran’s nuclear program in Vienna.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said earlier in the day his country was “very concerned” that world powers will lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for insufficient caps on its nuclear program as negotiators meet in Vienna on Monday for one last-ditch effort to make a nuclear deal.
One of Lapid’s main goals while visiting the UK and France is to ensure that banking sanctions on Iran remain in place, Israeli Channel 13 reported.
According to The Telegraph, Lapid is expected to meet with his UK counterpart Truss on Monday to sign a number of agreements, including a 10-year agreement to work closely in areas such as cybersecurity, technology, trade and defense.
Foreign ministers said in the article that Israel will officially become the UK’s “tier-one” cyber partner to improve its cyber defenses as countries around the world face increasing threats.
Lapid is then due to attend an event hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, where both officials will make speeches.
The foreign minister is due to travel to France on Monday evening before meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday afternoon.
With Tehran sticking to its tough stance and growing frustration with the Western powers, hopes of a breakthrough to save their 2015 nuclear deal seem low.
Diplomats say time is running out of time to revive the pact that then-US President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018, angering Iran and dismaying the other powers involved – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.
Six indirect roundtables took place between April and June. The new round begins after a pause triggered by the election of the new Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, a Muslim hardliner.
Tehran’s new negotiating team has formulated demands that US and European diplomats consider unrealistic, say Western diplomats.
Demands include the lifting of all US and European Union sanctions imposed since 2017, including those unrelated to Iran’s nuclear program.