The head of Britain's MI6, Sir John Sawers, has made a secret visit to Israel to urge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to give the green light to plans to bomb Iran, the Daily Mail reported Tuesday.
During his visit, Sawers is believed to have delivered a clear message that Britain is opposed to action now. Sawers' message comes at a time where many believe a strike on Tehran’s nuclear program could be imminent.
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According to the report, Sawers secretly visited Israel and met with Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak as well as a number of Israeli security and diplomatic officials.
During their meeting, Sawers passed on British Prime Minister David Cameron's message that Britain believes there is still time for diplomatic and economic sanctions against Iran to succeed in deterring its hardline regime from developing a nuclear weapon.The Daily Mail suggested that Sawers' mission, thought to have taken place around two weeks ago, has failed to cool Israeli rhetoric.
A British official told the online newspaper in response that "we will not discuss Sawers' reasons for traveling." The British newspaper further suggested that an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities will lead to a coalition crisis.
Earlier in August, British Foreign Secretary William Hague urged the European Union to impose new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.
"It is necessary to increase pressure on Iran, to intensify sanctions, to add further to EU sanctions that are already enforced," Hague said.
Meanwhile, in July British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould said that while the UK understands that Iran's nuclear program poses an existential threat to Israel, it does not think that military action against the Islamic republic would be the right step at the moment. He posited that negotiations would provide the best solution to the conflict.
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