Netanyahu tells May: I don't want to nix Iran deal, just fix it
During meeting at 10 Downing Street, the Israeli PM tells his British counterpart 'who want to keep the deal should cooperate in correcting the deal,' warning that 'Iran is determined to achieve not only regional hegemony, but to develop nuclear weapons as well.'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told British Prime Minister Theresa May Thursday that he would not work to cancel the nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers, but rather seek to improve and fix it.
"The goal that I have in mind is not keeping or eliminating the deal; it’s improving the deal and correcting its main flaws," Netanyahu said during the two leaders' meeting at 10 Downing Street. "And I think those who want to keep the deal should cooperate in correcting the deal."
Netanyahu has repeatedly called in the past to nix the nuclear deal with Tehran altogether, dubbing it a "bad deal," while May has been a staunch supporter of the agreement, even after US President Donald Trump declared he will not certify it again.
"Arab countries now see Israel not as an enemy, but as their indispensable ally in the battle against militant Islam. The threat we all see is a resurgent Iran that is bent not only on dominating the region, but bent on developing nuclear weapons," Netanyahu told May.
The prime minister was in London to attend a banquet hosted by descendants of Balfour and the recipient of his declaration, Jewish community leader Walter Rothschild, in the gilded halls of Lancaster House mansion.
"Israel is committed to peace, I’m committed to peace," Netanyahu stressed. "A hundred years after Balfour, the Palestinians should finally accept the Jewish national home and finally accept the Jewish state. And when they do, the road to peace will be infinitely closer. In my opinion, peace will be achievable."
Netanyahu thanked May for welcoming him, "and for inviting me to mark with pride a great historical event, a great event in Jewish history, British history and world history."
He went on to say that "A hundred years ago, the Balfour Declaration helped pave the way for the reestablishment of an independent state for the Jewish people in our ancestral homeland. A hundred years later, our two countries, our two democracies – Israel and Britain – are strong allies and partners.
"We cooperate closely on intelligence. We cooperate closely in the battle against terrorism. And we’ve saved, through this cooperation, countless lives—British lives, Israeli lives. We cooperate in cybersecurity, in technology, in business and enterprise. We share the values of freedom and democracy and peace," he added.
The Israeli premier also thanked May for her "resolute stand against anti-Semitism, for your resolute stand on the historical truth."
Netanyahu also met with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Thursday. On Friday morning, he is scheduled to speak at Chatham House and answer questions.
Later, Netanyahu and his wife Sara will participate in an event at the London Stock Exchange, with the Israel prime minister opening the trade. He will then meet with heads of corporations in Britain.
On Sunday, Netanyahu will meet with Britain's chief rabbi and then with the heads of the Jewish community in the country. He will return to Israel on Sunday.