The British prime minister said she is committed to maintaining the Iran nuclear deal, and expressed “concern” over deaths resulting from violent riots in Gaza.
By: World Israel News Staff
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with British premier Theresa May, in a meeting that revealed an inability to see eye to eye on several key issues.
Specifically, May referred to “differences of opinion” regarding the Iran nuclear deal, from which the US withdrew in the spring. Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump remained critical of the agreement, citing major shortcomings in the protection it purportedly offered from Tehran developing nuclear weapons and its failure to halt Iranian aggression in the Middle East.
May explained that the UK remains committed to the nuclear deal, provided Iran is interested in maintaining it.
During his current European tour, Netanyahu has prioritized raising the issue of Iran’s destabilizing influence in the region, which includes arming terror groups in Israel, Lebanon, and Yemen and establishing a military presence in Syria.
The UK, along with its European allies, seek to avail themselves of economic opportunities in Iran, which was suddenly freed from crippling sanctions when the deal was signed in 2015.
In addition to the Iranian threat, May and Netanyahu also presented dueling perspectives on the two-plus months of violent Hamas-led riots in Gaza.
Netanyahu explained that “the problems [in Gaza] are rooted in the fundamental goal of Hamas to destroy Israel,” which it pursues by staging ostensibly “peaceful protests” that are staffed by people “paid for and pushed by Hamas to try to break into Israel’s defenses, kill as many Israelis as they can, right next to our border, and kidnap our soldiers.”
“This is not a non-violent protest; quite the contrary,” said Netanyahu. “We are doing everything we can to both minimize casualties, and at the same time protect Israeli lives.”
Netanyahu also highlighted the massive damage from arson terror committed by Gazans using incendiary kites and balloons, and Hamas’ longstanding tactic of using humanitarian aid to build terror tunnels that borough into Israel.
In contrast, May commented with regard to Gaza, “We have been concerned about the loss of Palestinian lives.”
In addition to meeting with May, Netanyahu also met with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, pursuing Israel’s agenda to push Iran out of Syria and chip away at the European resolve to remain in the 2015 nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic.