Britain's Hammond reassures Israel over 'robust' Iran deal

16th July 2015, Comments 0 comments

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Thursday sought to reassure Israel over a nuclear deal between major powers and Iran, saying "robust measures" were in place to ensure its success.

"We would not have agreed to the deal unless we were sure we had robust measures in place to deliver effective oversight of Iran's nuclear programme," Hammond said ahead of a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Our focus now will be on swift and full implementation of the agreement to make sure that a nuclear weapon remains beyond Iran's reach," he said.

Hammond was the first senior official from the so-called P5+1 countries to visit Israel since they struck a landmark deal with Iran Tuesday that would row back its nuclear programme in return for relief from crippling economic sanctions.

The P5+1 -- the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France and Germany -- inked the deal in Vienna with Israel's arch-foe after months of intense diplomacy.

Israel immediately denounced the agreement, with Netanyahu calling it a "historic mistake."

The Jewish state has threatened to use military force to prevent Iran obtaining nuclear weapons capability, and has long opposed any deal with Tehran.

Netanyahu insists Israel would not be bound by the deal and signalled military force is not off the table.

On Wednesday, he declared the agreement was "not the end of the story".

© 2015 AFP

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