Middle East

U.K. envoy warns Israel against Iran attack: report

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands during their meeting in Jerusalem Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Abir Sultan, Pool)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Britain dispatched a senior envoy to Israel in recent weeks to warn the country's prime minister against a unilateral attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office and the British embassy in Tel Aviv refused to comment on the report, which cited an unnamed Israeli source.

The daily said the envoy arrived in Israel around two weeks ago and "delivered a stern message from British Prime Minister David Cameron against an uncoordinated Israeli strike on Iran at this time."

The report said British concern about an Israeli strike on Iran had been "heightened by Netanyahu's failure, during a phone conversation between the two leaders... in July, to provide clear and precise answers to Cameron's questions about Israel's intentions on the Iranian front."

The newspaper said the envoy also met with Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, as well as Israeli security and diplomatic officials, telling them Britain believes there is time for diplomatic measures, including sanctions, to work.

Israel and much of the international community believes Iran's nuclear programme masks a weapons drive, a charge Tehran denies.

The Jewish state, the Middle East's sole, if undeclared, nuclear power, has said a nuclear-armed Iran would pose an existential threat to Israel and will not rule out military action to prevent Tehran obtaining such arms.





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