Netanyahu departs for London:
'Now is not the time to talk to Iran'

PM calls for intensification of international pressure on Iran. "This is important to Israel at all times, but especially now."

Ido Ben Porat ,

Before takeoff
Before takeoff
Haim Zach, GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took off this morning, Thursday, for London, where he will meet with US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper as well as with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

"Another act of defiance by Iran regarding nuclear weapons. This is not the time to have talks with Iran. It's time to step up the pressure. These are things that are important to Israel at all times, but especially at this time," Netanyahu said.

This will be Netanyahu's first meeting with the two after taking their respective offices as prime minister and secretary of defense, and also among the first meetings of the two with leaders from the region.

The Prime Minister will discuss with British Prime Minister Johnson the situation in the region and the way to fight Iran's terror and aggression.

With Defense Secretary Esper, the PM will discuss Israel's security needs. The PM and Esper spoke on the telephone last night and decided to continue their talk in London.

Recall that the Prime Minister's visit to India scheduled for next week was postponed, probably due to the election campaign and the security situation.

Russian officials said Netanyahu also sought a meeting with President Putin, but was refused. However, the Prime Minister's Office put pressure on the Russians and, in the afternoon, a statement was issued according to which Netanyahu and Putin "will meet soon". However, the Russians did not confirm that such a meeting would take place before the elections.