Lord Cameron begs Israel to ‘take the win’ and not escalate clashes with Iran as UK joins frantic diplomatic efforts to stop ‘WW3’… with Rishi Sunak due to address MPs later

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Written By Maya Cantina

Lord Cameron pleaded with Israel not to escalate clashes with Iran today amid frantic efforts to defuse tensions.

The Foreign Secretary echoed Joe Biden’s suggestion that Benjamin Netanyahu should ‘take the win’ as he toured broadcast studios.

He insisted the world needs to maintain a focus on Hamas and the continuing standoff over hostages from the October 7 terror attacks. 

Rishi Sunak will make a statement to MPs this afternoon, with Israel threatening airstrikes in retaliation for a 350-missile blitz over the weekend. 

The US, UK and other allies are hoping to take the heat out of the situation, which comes against the backdrop of the bitter conflict in Gaza. There are fears violence could spread across the Middle East, and potentially drag in global powers. 

David Cameron

Lord Cameron (right) pleaded with Israel not to escalate clashes with Iran today amid frantic efforts to defuse tensions. Rishi Sunak (left) will make a statement to MPs later

Israel's Iron Dome responding to intercept the attack by Iran over the weekend

Israel’s Iron Dome responding to intercept the attack by Iran over the weekend 

Lord Cameron said ‘Israel has every right to respond as an independent sovereign country being attacked in this way’.

‘But I think we’re very anxious to avoid escalation and to say to our friends in Israel it’s a time to think with with head as well as heart,’ he told Sky News.

‘And in many ways this is a double defeat for Iran. Not only was their attack an almost total failure, but also the rest of the world can now see what a malign influence they are in the region and understand their true nature.

‘And so I think it is right for Israel not to escalate, but obviously they’re a sovereign, independent country and they’ll make their own decisions.’

The Foreign Secretary said: ‘Our hope is that there won’t be a retaliatory response, and instead the world’s focus should shift to Hamas.

‘They still hold those hostages. They’ve been offered a deal that prisoners can be released from Israeli jails in return for some of those hostages and there’ll be a pause in the fighting. That’s what needs to happen next and that’s what I hope we can focus on.’

IDF spokesman Peter Lerner said this morning that there would be retaliation from Israel, stating that this could involve ‘a strike or no strike.’

He explained that military top brass had submitted ‘a wide range of options’ and that there are ‘a lot of different scenarios’ on the table.

The Israeli government will ‘decide on the steps forward’ as early as today.

Israel says it intercepted 99 per cent of the hundreds of missiles and drones fired by Iran, with assistance from the US, UK and France.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) during a War Cabinet meeting at the Kirya in Tel Aviv

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) during a War Cabinet meeting at the Kirya in Tel Aviv

Joe Biden spoke with Mr Netanyahu in a late-night phone call on Saturday

Joe Biden spoke with Mr Netanyahu in a late-night phone call on Saturday

‘Just because we were successful in intercepting, we shouldn’t underestimate what Iran did,’ Mr Lerner said. ‘We can’t take that lightly.’

Asked whether Britain would impose more sanctions on Tehran, as Labour has called for, Lord Cameron told BBC Breakfast: ‘Absolutely. We already have 400 sanctions on Iran. We put in place a whole new sanctions regime at the end of last year, which is proving very effective. 

‘We’ve sanctioned the IRGC – the Iranian Revolutionary Guard – in its entirety. And we’ll continue to look at what further steps we can do.

‘I think there is an opportunity, and I’m sure the Prime Minister will talk about this in his statement to the House of Commons, to try and work very closely with our partners in the G7. All these things are more effective if countries can act together.

‘I think Britain in many ways has been at the sort of sharp end, has been the most keen on sanctions and on pressure and on turning up the heat, recognising… that Iran is the malign actor in the region, but it’s best if we can do these things together.’

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