“The clock is ticking, which heightens the need for close cooperation with our partners and friends to thwart Tehran’s ambitions,” the UK’s Liz Truss and her Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid wrote in the Telegraph newspaper on Sunday.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said earlier in the day that his country was “very worried” that world powers will remove sanctions on Iran in exchange for insufficient caps on its nuclear programme, as negotiators convene in Vienna on Monday in a last-ditch effort to salvage a nuclear deal.
Israel’s 10-year agreement
Meanwhile, Israel and Britain will sign a 10-year agreement on Monday to work closely on areas such as cybersecurity, technology, trade and defence, according to the Telegraph.
The foreign ministers added in the article that Israel will officially become Britain’s “tier one” cyber partner, in a bid to improve its cyber defences as countries around the world face increased threats.
With talks aimed at reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal restarting Monday, Israel is pressing parties to the discussions to condition them on Tehran’s cessation of uranium enrichment, Kan news has reported.
In 2018 then-US president Donald Trump pulled out of the deal, reapplying stiff sanctions on Iran, which in response dropped some of its own commitments to the pact and significantly increased its uranium enrichment, raising concerns it is nearing nuclear weapons capabilities.
Iran occupancy of 2,490 kg uranium worries other countries
According to the latest report from the UN nuclear watchdog, Iran has now amassed a stockpile of 2,490 kilograms of uranium. The total amount now includes 114 kilograms enriched to 20 percent, as well as 18 kilograms enriched up to 60%. Both are short technical steps away from weapons-grade levels of 90%.
Israel remains opposed to the 2015 deal, and officials believe it is even less effective now that Iran has advanced its capabilities to unprecedented levels.
According to Sunday’s unsourced report by Kan, Israel is making efforts to not only stop a return to the previous agreement, but also to prevent the sides from agreeing on and implementing an interim agreement, a plan the US is said to be considered as a stop-gap if a full agreement cannot be reached.
Reuters with additional input by GVS