President Isaac Herzog urged UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take a hard line against Iran in talks aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear accord, at a meeting between the two leaders in London Tuesday.
Herzog said Israel needed its allies to firmly oppose Iran’s nuclear ambitions, as the P5+1 group of world powers prepare to restart negotiations in Vienna next week aimed at reviving the multilateral nuclear accord they signed in 2015. The P5+1 comprises China, Russia, France, the US and the UK plus Germany.
“We are looking forward for our allies in the P5+1 to be as tough as possible because we do not believe that they [the Islamic Republic] are operating in a bona fide manner, and only if all options are on the table may things move in the right direction,” Herzog said.
Johnson warned that “the world doesn’t have much time” on Iran, echoing concerns by leaders in Israel and the West over Tehran’s rapidly mounting uranium stockpile amid moribund nuclear negotiations.
Israel is opposed to the US returning to the tattered nuclear accord, but has also sought to press for more safeguards and curbs on Iranian actions should an agreement take shape.
Herzog earlier discussed Iran with a group of 100 British lawmakers on Monday. He urged the group to make sure their government remains tough ahead of the upcoming Iran negotiations.
Herzog also thanked Johnson for the UK’s decision to proscribe the entire Hamas organization as a terror group.
“This is a very important message to terror organizations and global radicals trying to undermine the situation in the Middle East,” Herzog said.
The British prime minister said his government’s recent listing of the entire Hamas organization as a terror group had been the right move and condemned a Hamas terror attack in Jerusalem on Sunday that killed an Israeli man on his way to work.
The UN nuclear watchdog’s head said on Wednesday that he “could not agree” in talks with Iranian officials to resolve disputes over the monitoring of the country’s atomic program, a day after returning from Tehran.
Rafael Grossi, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told the quarterly meeting of the board of governors that his talks in Tehran were “inconclusive,” despite what he had earlier described as “intense” negotiations.
“We could not agree yesterday, in spite of my best efforts,” Grossi told reporters on Wednesday, shortly after addressing the board meeting.
He had been hoping to make progress on several points of contention between the agency and Tehran.
These include the constraints put on IAEA inspections activity earlier this year, outstanding questions over the presence of undeclared nuclear material at sites in Iran, and the treatment of IAEA staff in the country.
The talks came ahead of the scheduled resumption on Monday of negotiations between Tehran and world powers aimed at reviving the 2015 deal that gave Iran sanctions relief in return for curbs on its nuclear program.