Bennett urges world leaders to put pressure on the new Iranian government

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GLASGOW – Countries with bilateral ties with Iran need to take a stronger stance to put pressure on their new government, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told leaders he met at the UN climate change conference Monday and Tuesday, a diplomatic source said.

Bennett met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as the Crown Prince of Bahrain and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa on Tuesday. The day before, he met with French President Emmanuel Macron, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez. At every meeting he brought up Iran.

One leader called Iran’s new ruling government “purely IRGC,” the diplomatic source said, referring to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is a judge overseeing death squads that have executed thousands of Iranian dissidents, including women and children. He and eleven other of the 30 members of the Iranian cabinet have been sanctioned by the US, the EU or the UK for links to terrorism, human rights violations and other crimes.

“Israel stands before the world powers and says that you have to take a serious, unequivocal stance, a tough stance on Iran in the [International Atomic Energy Agency], the UN Security Council and bilateral relations with the new government, ”said the diplomatic source.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at the start of the COP26 conference in Glasgow on Monday. (Credit: GPO)

Bennett presented his stance to leaders that a return to the 2015 Iran deal – which included Johnson and Macron’s countries – would include lifting sanctions against Iran, would result in the newly released funds lead to increased regional aggression and the opposite result of what they are looking for.

At the same time, Bennett said Israel was ready to take independent action against Iran if necessary.

The guides were interested in hearing how Bennett sees things, the diplomatic source said.

Israel’s COVID-19 response and the introduction of the third dose of vaccine was another topic many leaders brought up when they met Bennett during his two days in Glasgow.

“We need everyone in our country to learn from the Israeli booster campaign and get its push,” he said.

While the UK has started giving booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, Johnson said they should try to move “at Israeli speed”.

“We need some of that spirit in Britain too,” he said.

Johnson said he and Bennett had been in touch for months to discuss fighting COVID.

Israel’s launch of the vaccine was “amazing,” he said, adding that Israel “showed the whole world a pretty clean pair of heels” by going ahead of everyone.

Bennett congratulated Johnson on hosting the climate change conference.

The UK’s commitment is “instrumental” to helping Israel adopt a new policy on climate change, he said.

“We have now changed our policy on this, making a commitment to zero emissions by 2050 for the first time in our history, and we mean business,” said Bennett.

“I think you can honestly do it faster,” said Johnson.

Bennett said Johnson was “a great friend of Israel”.

The Prime Ministers also discussed plans for a future UK-Israel innovation conference.

Bennett also met with Modi and thanked him for being “the person who re-accelerated relations between India and Israel”.

“I know it comes from the heart,” he said. “It’s not about interests, but about a deep conviction that you have and that we sense. On behalf of all the citizens of Israel, we appreciate your new approach. “

Bennett and Modi discussed collaborations on green innovation, food technology, next-generation solar panels, cybersecurity and more, a diplomatic source said.

Bennett said the high-tech company he ran 20 years ago had merged with an Indian company, and that Israelis and Indians had worked well together and had a lot to learn from each other.

“Our aim is to continue the wonderful path that you embarked on with my predecessor and take it to a new level, to ensure that both countries in the fields of innovation, technology, space, security, agriculture, food technology and of course climate technology work together. ”he said.

Bennett also met Al Khalifa for the first time.

Al Khalifa said to Bennett, “We have to work towards a better future and we look forward to that.”

In response, Bennett said, “We haven’t seen anything yet.”

Israel hopes to increase trade with Bahrain, a diplomatic source said after the meeting, and feels that Manama wants a more robust and energetic partnership between the countries under the Emirati mode.

The Palestinians were not raised at any of the meetings, according to a diplomatic source.

Bennett declined to respond to a speech by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh in which he said the “occupation of Palestine” was “the most critical long-term threat to the Palestinian environment”.

“We have nothing to say about these allegations,” said the diplomatic source. “We will not fight them publicly because that would give meaning to these words.”


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