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‘World must respond’ to Iran’s nuclear threat, Lapid tells Macron

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Prime Minister Yair Lapid (R) embraces French President Emmanuel Macron at a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 5, 2022. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid (R) embraces French President Emmanuel Macron at a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 5, 2022. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Speaking alongside French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Prime Minister Yair Lapid urges the world to respond to Iran’s rogue nuclear activity.

Lapid says Israel and France might disagree about the content of a potential nuclear deal, but not about the facts.

“The facts are that Iran is violating the agreement and continues to develop its nuclear program,” he says. “Iran is hiding information from the world, it is enriching uranium beyond the level it is allowed to, and it has removed cameras from its nuclear sites.”

“The world must respond,” Lapid declares.

Referencing a 2018 speech by Macron, Lapid calls for “a deal that is more efficient and better defined, a deal with no expiration date, a deal with coordinated international pressure that would prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear threshold state.”

“You were right then, and you are even more right today,” he says.

Lapid lays out Iran’s regional terror activities, including the recent plot to attack Israeli tourists in Turkey.

“A few days ago, Iranian-made UAVs tried to attack an Israeli gas rig near the Lebanese coast,” Lapid continues. “These UAVs were sent by Hezbollah, a terrorist organization that threatens Lebanon’s stability, violates its sovereignty, pushes it towards a dangerous escalation with Israel, and harms the national interests of Lebanon — a country I know is dear to your heart.”

“Israel will not sit back and do nothing given these repeated attacks,” he pledges.

Lapid calls Israel and France “strategic partners,” adding: “This past year, with the war in Ukraine and the terrorism from Iran, we are reminded that not only does democracy protect us, but we must also protect democracy. Sometimes there is no choice but to use the force of war to protect the peace.”

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