Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Monday that Israel should avoid taking any action that would undermine the interim nuclear agreement reached between Iran and world powers.
- France: Israel will not launch Iran attack 'at this stage'
- Iranians hail 'smiling' FM as hero of nuclear deal
- Secret US-Iran talks set stage for nuclear deal
Urging world leaders to give the interim deal a chance, Hague said it was important to try to understand those who opposed the agreement. But he urged Israel and others to confine their criticism to rhetoric.
"We would discourage anybody in the world, including Israel, from taking any steps that would undermine this agreement and we will make that very clear to all concerned," Hague told parliament.
Hague, who gave an update on the nuclear talks in Geneva, added he had not seen any signs that any country opposed to the agreement would try to disrupt it "in any practical way", but said Britain would be "on its guard".
The British top diplomat said however that he understood why Israel and Saudi Arabia are concerned with the deal. "They do all have very legitimate concerns about Iran's nuclear program and it's not surprising that people will be skeptical about any agreement. After all, Iran also has a history of not revealing the truth about its nuclear program to the rest of the world."
Hague added that "this is the first time that Iran has entered into an agreement with other nations, with the international community, about what to do about its nuclear program." Prime Minister David Cameron said the deal was an "important first step" and "demonstrates how persistent diplomacy and tough sanctions can together help us to advance our national interest".
However, Israel is not the sole protester to the deal. The British Telegraph quoted Nawaf Obaid, a senior advisor to the Saudi royal family, as accusing its Western allies of deceiving the oil rich kingdom in striking the nuclear accord with Iran and said Riyadh would follow an independent foreign policy.
Obaid said that while Saudi Arabia knew that the US was talking directly to Iran through a channel in the Gulf state of Oman, Washington had not directly briefed its ally. "We were lied to, things were hidden from us," he said. "The problem is not with the deal struck in Geneva but how it was done."
Obaid suggested in his remarks a possible Saudi attack when claiming Riyadh is determined to reinforce its policy and to be more active in the future by running an independent foreign policy. He denied any cooperation with Israel and said that until the Palestinians have a state, Saudi Arabia will not work with Israel. He also stressed that Saudi Arabia will continue to reject to any Iranian involvement in Syria.
However Lebanon's Hezbollah on Monday hailed a nuclear deal between its patron Iran and world powers as "a major victory" for Tehran. "What was achieved through this agreement is a major victory for Iran and to all the people of the region and it is a defeat for the enemies of these people," Hezbollah said in a statement. "(It is) a model victory and world class achievement which the Islamic state adds to its record which shines with victories and achievements."
Reuters contributed to this report
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop