Britain does not exclude military action against Iran in the long-term failing progress on its controversial nuclear programme, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Monday.
Asked whether military action was possible, Hague said: “We are not considering that at the moment. We are not calling or advocating military action. At the same time we say all options should remain in future.”
Mr Hague, who spoke to reporters as he stepped into talks between European Union foreign ministers, said: “Of course we will also look over the coming months to increase the peaceful legitimate pressure on Iran as part of our dual track approach of being available for negotiations if they’re real negotiations but at the same time placing more pressure on Iran through sanctions.”
The 27 ministers will discuss the possibility of new sanctions on Iran failing progress in Tehran’s co-operation with nuclear watchdog IAEA or in talks with world powers, diplomats told AFP.
“Strong new restrictive measures” would be decided at a new meeting in a couple of weeks should Iran dig in its heels, diplomats said.
Meanwhile, an Iranian official says Tehran rejects Bahraini allegations that a terror cell uncovered in the island nation had links to the Shiite powerhouse’s Revolutionary Guard.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian says Bahrain’s claim is “baseless and fabricated” and urged the Bahraini government to focus instead on repairing the “deep schism” between its Sunni monarchy and Shiite majority.
Abdollahian spoke to the Arabic Language al-Alam channel late on Sunday.
Bahrain’s Sunni leaders have repeatedly accused Iran of encouraging Shiite-led protests that erupted in February in the kingdom, a charge Iran denies.
Bahrain’s public prosecutor on Sunday alleged the terror cell planned attacks against high profile sites, such as the Saudi Embassy in Manama.
(Source: The Telegraph)