MI6 chief was British messenger sent to dissuade Israel from Iran strike

MI6 chief was British messenger sent to dissuade Israel from Iran strike

Visit by intelligence official is unprecedented, Daily Mail reports

The high-ranking British official dispatched to Israel to discuss the Jewish state’s plans regarding a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear program was Sir John Sawyers, the head of England’s MI6 intelligence agency, The Daily Mail reported Tuesday night.

The British report followed a revelation in the Hebrew press earlier in the day that a telephone call between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his British counterpart David Cameron prior to the Olympic games led Cameron to send an emissary to meet with Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Jerusalem.

The message that Sawyers was said to have delivered was that Britain does not support unilateral Israeli military action against Iran at this time; instead, the reports claim, Cameron suggested that Israel allow more time for diplomacy and sanctions to deter Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon.

According to an Israeli source cited by Haaretz, Sawyers’ visit and other diplomatic overtures to Netanyahu from Germany and the United States have made a significant impact on the prime minister and his plans.

Ron Friedman and Times of Israel Staff contributed to this report

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more: