Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

“We will work day and night to prevent the Iranian regime from ever becoming a nuclear power,” the UK’s Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid vowed, while warning that “time is running out, the clock is ticking.”

This urgency on the Iranian threat “increases the need for closer cooperation with our partners and friends to thwart Tehran’s destructive ambitions,” the two top diplomats wrote in an article published in the UK’s Telegraph and Israel’s Yedioth Aharonoth daily on Monday, as Lapid is in the UK to discuss the Iranian issue.

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Lapid arrived on Sunday evening in London where he will begin a round of diplomatic meetings, against the backdrop of the opening of nuclear talks in Vienna.

“The Minister’s visit will focus on the resumption of nuclear talks in Vienna as well as the deepening of bilateral relations between Israel and Britain and France,” the Foreign Ministry stated.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Joint Commission will meet in Vienna, Austria, on Monday with members of the G4 +1 group and the European Union to discuss the lifting of sanctions on Iran.

The Biden administration is seeking to reengage Tehran in talks on a new nuclear agreement, while Europe is seeking to salvage the one signed in 2015, which the US under Donald Trump left. However, Washington appears to be skeptical of the prospects of such a development. Israel fears the emerging agreement will be even laxer than the 2015 agreement.

Lapid will meet with Truss on Monday for the signing of agreements and meetings. He will meet later in the day with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

On Tuesday Lapid will meet with the President of France, Emmanuel Macron.

Both countries are signatories of the nuclear deal with Iran.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated Sunday that Israel “is very disturbed by the willingness to lift the sanctions and allow billions to flow into Iran in exchange for insufficient restrictions in the nuclear sphere.

Bennett said during Sunday’s Cabinet meeting that this message of distress is the “message that we are passing along however we can, to the Americans and to the other countries that are negotiating with Iran,” and Lapid will “deliver this message at his meetings in London and Paris.”

Israel has warned that the Iranian nuclear program has reached a critical stage and is weeks away from accumulating the material needed for a nuclear bomb, requiring action.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.