Attacking Iran would have “enormous downsides”: Hague
Islam Times - British Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned that an Israeli attack on Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities would have "enormous downsides.”
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph on Friday, Hague referred to speculations that Israel may be preparing to launch missile strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities in the run-up to the US presidential election in autumn.
Hague said that the British government has urged Israel not to conduct a military action against Iran, adding that Iran being “attacked militarily” would have “enormous downsides.”
“We are very clear to all concerned that we are not advocating military action. We support a twin-track strategy of sanctions and pressure and negotiations on the other hand,” he said.
The British foreign secretary added, “We are not favoring the idea of anybody attacking Iran at the moment.”
Hague also noted that Britain was not taking part in any “secret war” against Iran, following the assassinations of several Iranian nuclear scientists in Tehran.
He added, “It is not our way of dealing with this to have assassinations or to advocate military action. Although I do stress again, we are taking nothing off the table.”
Israeli officials have ramped up their war rhetoric over the past few weeks, threatening Iran with military strikes in case the US-led Western sanctions against the country fail to force Tehran into abandoning its civilian nuclear program.
Despite the widely publicized claims by the US, Israel and some of their European allies that Iran's nuclear program may include a military aspect, Iran insists on its civilian nature, arguing that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence indicating that Tehran's civilian nuclear program has been diverted towards nuclear weapons production.
This is while the Israeli regime is widely known to possess between 200 and 400 nuclear warheads. Furthermore, Tel Aviv refuses to allow its nuclear facilities to come under international regulatory inspectors and rejects any international nuclear regulatory agreements.
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