Iran needs 'big change' warns David Cameron
Tuesday 06 March 2012
Iran must make a "big change" in its strategic thinking, David Cameron warned today, as leading international powers agreed to resume talks with the Tehran regime over its nuclear programme.
The Prime Minister said that while economic sanctions should be given more time to run, he made clear military action remained an option unless the Iranians gave up any ambitions to develop a nuclear weapon.
"Nothing is off the table," Mr Cameron told the Commons Liaison Committee.
"It is difficult to say that because no one wants to see conflict in any way. But I think it's very important that world sends a message to Iran that a nuclear-armed future is not something that we want to see.
"If the sanctions don't work there will come a moment of a very difficult decision."
Earlier, the Government's national security adviser Sir Kim Darroch, and other "experts" briefed the weekly Cabinet meeting on the latest situation.
Mr Cameron's comments came as the so-called E3+3 group - Britain, France and Germany plus the United States, Russia and China - accepted an offer from the Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili to re-open discussions after the last round ended in failure in January 2011.
The international powers are demanding Tehran gives up its nuclear enrichment work - a key step in developing a nuclear bomb.
Mr Cameron said Iran's decision to return to the negotiating table was evidence that the latest sanctions - including an EU oil embargo - were having an effect.
And with Israel showing increasing signs of impatience, he echoed US president Barack Obama in appealing for more time to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
"Today, we think that military action against Iran and Israel would not be the right approach. We have said that both publicly and privately to the Israelis. We think this track of sanctions and pressure has further to run," he said.
Mr Cameron insisted no decisions had been made about any British involvement in any future US military action against Iran. However he pointed out that the UK had military assets in the region, including Royal Navy minesweepers.
"We haven't made decisions about any military action but clearly we would want to consider not least how best to protect our own interests and our own people," he said.
He stressed that a nuclear-armed Iran would not just be a threat to Israel and other countries in the region.
"I don't believe that an Iranian nuclear weapon is just a threat to Israel," he said.
"It is also clearly very dangerous for the region because it would trigger a nuclear arms race but also its a danger more broadly, not least because there are signs that the Iranians want to have some sort of intercontinental missile capability.
"So we have to be clear this is potentially a threat much more widely."
- 1 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
- 4 Queen's first tweet: Reply telling Her Majesty to 'f*** off' broadcast on BBC News
- 5 #AskNigelFarage: Twitter starts hilarious Q&A for Ukip leader
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...