Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, has cautioned against the expulsion of Iran from the World Cup as punishment for its failure to co-operate over its suspected nuclear programme.
The former Conservative foreign affairs spokesman Michael Ancram said that expelling Iran from the event in Germany in July "would give a very clear signal to Iran that the international community will not accept what they are doing".
Mr Ancram pointed out that referring Iran to the UN Security Council "could rumble on for some time".
Mr Straw said he was "not certain" that such a sanction against Iran would be helpful.
Last month, the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said the Holocaust was "a myth". Football's governing body, Fifa, resisted calls from German politicians for Iran to be excluded for the remarks.Reuse content