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Lapid warns Macron: Iran is just buying time at Vienna nuclear talks

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) meets with French President Emanuel Macron in Paris, on November 30, 2021. (MFA / Quentin Crestinu)
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) meets with French President Emanuel Macron in Paris, on November 30, 2021. (MFA / Quentin Crestinu)

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid wraps up a three-day trip to London and Paris with a long meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The two spoke at length about the Iran nuclear talks in Vienna, which kicked off yesterday after a nearly six-month hiatus, says the Foreign Ministry.

Lapid tells Macron that Israel believes Iran is merely buying time at the talks in order to continue making progress in its nuclear program, and to have crippling economic sanctions removed. Israel’s top diplomat also emphasizes the need to develop an effective Plan B if talks fail.

“After many years, Israel’s position is being heard and Israel’s position is firm,” Lapid says. “Sanctions on Iran must not be removed. Sanctions must be tightened, a credible military threat must be applied, because only that will stop its nuclear race.”

Lapid pledges that he, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz will continue to work to ensure that the world understands the Iranian nuclear threat.

Macron and Lapid also discuss expanding the economic and security bilateral relationship between the two countries.

Yesterday, Lapid met with Britain’s prime minister and foreign minister.

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