Tony Blair At Odds With US Hawks On Iran
Tony Blair has declared himself at odds with hawks in the US Administration by saying publicly for the first time that it would be wrong to take military action against Iran. The Prime Ministerâ€™s comments came hours before the UNâ€™s nuclear watchdog raised the stakes in the Westâ€™s showdown with Tehran, says The Times.
“…Mr Blair, in a BBC interview yesterday, said: ‘I canâ€™t think that it would be right to take military action against Iran . . . What is important is to pursue the political, diplomatic channel. I think it is the only way that we are going to get a sensible solution to the Iranian issue’.
“The diplomatic options will be on the table on Monday when representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany meet in London to begin drafting a new resolution.
“It was notable that Mr Blairâ€™s remarks yesterday closely resembled those of Jack Straw last year, who said that an attack on Iran was ‘inconceivable’, angering Washington and perhaps contributing to his removal as Foreign Secretary.
“The Prime Ministerâ€™s comments reflect what British officials have been saying privately for some time, but also show a growing streak of independence from Mr Bush.
“The White House was unhappy with the timing of Mr Blairâ€™s announcement this week on withdrawing 1,600 British troops, concerned that it undercut Mr Bushâ€™s efforts to shore up support for his troop surge on Capitol Hill while sending out ‘mixed messages’ to the Iranians.”
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