Hague 'new Cold War' fear over Iran
Saturday 18 February 2012
Iran's nuclear ambitions could plunge the world into "a new Cold War" with the Middle East, Foreign Secretary William Hague warned today.
He predicted a nuclear arms race among rival Middle Eastern states that would carry the dangers without the safety mechanisms of the old rivalry between the West and the USSR.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he insisted Britain did not back military action against the Islamic republic - as Israel is thought to be planning.
But he said there was a "crisis coming down the tracks" that could result in "disaster" for world affairs.
"(The Iranians) are clearly continuing their nuclear weapons programme," Mr Hague said.
"If they obtain nuclear weapons capability, then I think other nations across the Middle East will want to develop nuclear weapons.
"And so, the most serious round of nuclear proliferation since nuclear weapons were invented would have begun with all the destabilising effects in the Middle East. And the threat of a new Cold War in the Middle East without necessarily all the safety mechanisms. That would be a disaster in world affairs."
There are growing fears that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will not be deterred by sanctions, the preferred route of the US and Britain to pressure the regime into abandoning its nuclear weapons programme.
Israel is rumoured to be planning military strikes within months. Mr Ahmadinejad claimed this week that Iran had loaded its first domestically-made fuel rod into a nuclear reactor.
Mr Hague stressed that "all options must remain on the table" concerning Iran but said that a military attack would have "enormous downsides".
"We are very clear to all concerned that we are not advocating military action," he said.
"We support a twin-track strategy of sanctions and pressure and negotiations on the other hand."
He added: "We are not favouring the idea of anybody attacking Iran at the moment."
Germanwings plane crash: Andreas Lubitz 'had eyesight problems' and woke from nightmares 'screaming we’re going down'
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 4 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...