British intel chief warns Netanyahu on Israel trip: report
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a joint press conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borissov, not seen,in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. AP photoThe head of Britain's foreign intelligence agency MI6 has visited Israel to warn Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against military action on Iran, a report said Wednesday.
John Sawers went to Israel around two weeks ago with a message from Prime Minister David Cameron urging Netanyahu to allow more time to find a diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear programme, the Daily Mail newspaper said.
Britain's Foreign Office, which has overall responsibility for MI6, said it would not comment on intelligence matters but stressed it remained committed to a twin-track strategy of diplomacy and pressure to resolve concerns over Iran.
The move reflects growing concern in Britain over recent rhetoric used by Israel, the Mail reported.
Sawers was also reported to have met with defence minister Ehud Barak and a number of security and diplomatic officials.
Israel has locked horns with the United States on Iran in recent days and has threatened unilateral military action against Tehran, despite American objections.
Netanyahu said on Tuesday: "The world tells Israel 'wait, there's still time'. And I say, 'Wait for what? Wait until when'?" Russia and China on Wednesday joined Western powers in rounding on Iran at the UN atomic agency following the watchdog's latest damning report and the escalating spat between Israel and Washington.
The US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany managed after days of haggling to hammer out a resolution criticising Tehran, at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors in Vienna.