UK ‘committed’ to Iran nuclear deal

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Theresa May, U.K. prime minister, delivers a speech outside 10 Downing Street in London, U.K. on Wednesday, July 13, 2016. May became the U.K.'s second female prime minister and has promised to take Britain out of the European Union. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

LONDON (RBB)-The UK continues to believe that the nuclear deal with Iran is the best way to prevent it from getting nuclear weapons, British Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday.

“We will remain committed to it as long as Iran meets its obligations,” she said.

May’s comments came during her meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu met May in London following meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who both told him they were committed to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Netanyahu has aimed to convince European leaders to follow the example of U.S. President Donald Trump, who withdrew his country from the deal.

“Along with France and Germany, the UK continues to believe [the JCPOA] is the best route to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” May said.

“But we do recognize that there are other issues that need to be addressed in relation to Iran – its destabilizing regional activity in countries like Syria and Yemen and also the proliferation of ballistic missiles.”

Violence in Gaza

May also told Netanyahu that she is concerned about the loss of Palestinian lives in the Gaza protests.

She said she was also “deeply concerned by recent rocket attacks from Gaza and, as a friend of Israel, reiterated the UK’s support for Israel’s right to self-defense,” according to a government statement.

May said the Palestinians had a right to protest, but it was important that these protests be peaceful.

She said there was, however, concern about the scale of casualties in Gaza in recent weeks and around Israel’s use of live fire.

“The prime minister noted the importance of seeing the situation in Gaza swiftly alleviated and parties moving back towards direct negotiations for a two-state solution,” the statement added.

Netanyahu also met Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson during his visit to London.

Johnson also expressed the UK’s concerns about the loss of life in Gaza.

“We are…very concerned by the deaths of over 120 Palestinians in recent weeks and the deteriorating situation in Gaza,” he said.

“The people of Israel and Gaza have the right to live safely in peace, without constant fear for their security.

“We continue to press both Israel and the Palestinian Authority on the need to refrain from actions which make peace more difficult.”

Johnson also underlined that “settlement construction is a significant barrier to achieving this goal, as are terrorism, incitement to violence, and the refusal by some to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist”.

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