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Cameron Says Israel Should Leave Time for Iran Sanctions to Work

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron will urge Israel to refrain from a military strike on Iran’s nuclear program and say time should be given for sanctions, including new European Union measures today, to work.

“Now is not the time for Israel to resort to military action,” Cameron will say at the annual dinner of the United Jewish Israel Appeal this evening, according to remarks released by his office in London. “At the very moment when the regime faces unprecedented pressure and the people are on the streets, and when Iran’s only real ally in Syria is losing his grip on power, a foreign military strike is exactly the chance the regime would look for to unite his people against a foreign enemy. We shouldn’t give them that chance.”

EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg today approved tighter sanctions on Iran and its finance, energy and transport industries in a bid to persuade the government to permit more scrutiny of its nuclear program. The ministers froze the assets of 34 Iranian entities to hinder the ability to raise funds for the program, which the U.S. and European nations say is aimed at producing weapons. The measures follow an oil embargo and a central-bank asset freeze earlier this year.

“We need the courage to give these sanctions time to work,” Cameron will say. “But let me also say this. In the long term, if Iran makes the wrong choice, nothing is off the table. A nuclear-armed Iran is a threat to Israel. And a threat to the world. And this country will work unwaveringly to prevent that from happening.”

The measures taken by the EU, which complement U.S. restrictions and are meant to close loopholes in existing European sanctions, come after talks on Iranian atomic activities yielded little progress and the Israeli government warned of a growing threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. The Islamic republic says its atomic program is for civilian purposes.

To contact the reporters on this story: Svenja O’Donnell in London at sodonnell@bloomberg.net; Eddie Buckle in London at ebuckle@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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