UK PM Cameron to Britain’s Jews: ‘I Share Your Skepticism Over the Iran Deal’
by Joshua Levitt
UK Prime Minister David Cameron told Britain’s Jewish community at a Chanukah reception, “I share your skepticism over the Iran deal.”
“An enemy of Israel’s is an enemy of mine… but in my judgement this is the right step to take,” Cameron said, after lighting Chanukah candles with the UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak at a reception held at 10 Downing Street, the UK’s Jewish News reported on Thursday.
“I know there will be great skepticism, I know there will be great worry,” the prime minister said. “All I will say to you tonight is that I share your skepticism, I share your worry. I don’t have any starry-eyed view about what this Iranian regime offers. We only got to where we are because of the very tough sanctions.”
On Wednesday, Cameron sent Simon Gass, Britain’s chief negotiator for the Iran talks, to Israel to brief Israeli diplomats, following a phone call between British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz.
On Monday, Hague addressed the Conservative Friends of Israel in the UK, where he acknowledged Israel’s anxieties, saying, “I know that Israeli leaders have serious concerns. They would have preferred a final deal that met all of our concerns at once. But in order to arrive at a comprehensive agreement, an interim agreement that imposes immediate restraints on Iran’s program is an essential requirement.”
At the same event, acting UK Parliamentary chair James Clappison said, “Iran’s long history of clandestine nuclear activities raises legitimate questions over their claim that the nuclear program is for entirely peaceful purposes.”
Clappison added, “It must not be forgotten that Iran is the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism and possesses an appalling record of human rights abuses against its own citizens.’