Britain outlines case against attack on Iran
LONDON: Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has drawn up Britain’s case against a military strike on Iran amid fears US President George W Bush may seek support for a new conflict, a newspaper reported on Sunday.
Straw has produced a 200-page dossier that rules out military action and makes the case for a “negotiated solution” to thwart Iran’s suspected ambition to produce nuclear weapons, The Sunday Times reported. It says a peaceful solution led by Britain, France and Germany is “in the best interests of Iran and the international community,” while referring to “safeguarding Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear technology.”
The dossier, entitled Iran’s Nuclear Programme, was quietly issued in the House of Commons on the eve of Bush’s inauguration last week for fear of provoking a public rift with Washington, the newspaper said. However, it added that privately tensions are running high between the two nations.
The approach contrasts with the British government’s two Iraq dossiers, which were trumpeted to make the case for joining the US-led invasion on March 2003. The Sunday Times said the message that the British government wants no part in another war in the Middle East will be reinforced by Prime Minister Tony Blair when he meets Bush in Brussels next month and at an Anglo-American summit in Washington after the British general election, expected in May. It said Straw would also make the case when he meets US secretary of state nominee Condoleezza Rice, a Bush confidante, in London next month. afp