UK and Israel target Iran with trade, defense and cyber pact

LONDON — The U.K. and Israel announced a new decade-long deal covering trade, defense and tech. 

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and her Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid shook on the new agreement in London which is aimed at stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

“We will work night and day to prevent the Iranian regime from ever becoming a nuclear power,” the pair wrote in a joint article for the Daily Telegraph, on the same day that talks on salvaging the Iran nuclear deal restart in Vienna. 

In an interview after the deal was signed, Truss said: “A nuclear Iran will thrust the entire Middle East into a nuclear arms race, we will find ourselves in a new Cold War. But this time the bomb will be in the hands of religious fanatics who are engaged in terrorism as a way of life. The world must prevent this and it can prevent this: tighter sanctions, tighter supervision, conduct any talks from a position of strength.”

The new “strategic plan” will also include cybersecurity and will see Israel become a “tier one” partner of the U.K.

Truss and Lapid added: “Many fear the skies are darkening worldwide due to the pandemic, the threat of terrorism and hostile actors seeking the upper hand. But we believe that, with the right approach, freedom and democracy will prevail.”

In another sign that the two countries are becoming closer, Britain last week announced that it would proscribe the political wing of Palestinian group Hamas, bringing it in line with the U.S. and EU. “Hamas is fundamentally and rabidly antisemitic,” Home Secretary Priti Patel said during a speech in Washington DC.



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