Prime Minister David Cameron warned yesterday that Iran is seeking “intercontinental missile capability” that could threaten the West. This is the first time that the Prime Minister has made such an explicit warning that Iran could endanger UK security.
Speaking to MPs on the Commons liaison committee, the prime minister said Tehran is “clearly very dangerous for the region because it would trigger a nuclear arms race,” but that Iran is also “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 a threat potentially much wider than just Israel and the region,” he said.
Cameron added that no options were firmly off the table, but that Britain’s strategy at the moment was to keep up pressure on Tehran through sanctions and diplomatic efforts.
The PM was speaking after national security adviser, Sir Kim Darroch, and MI6 Chief, Sir John Sawers, presented the cabinet with the latest intelligence briefing. The briefing noted threats to the UK by Iran and the growing expectation that Israel is gearing up to launch a strike against the regime.
Cameron’s comments come after the 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 negotiations after the last round ended in failure in January 2011.
Cameron said Iran’s decision to return to the negotiating table was evidence that the latest sanctions, including a EU oil sanctions, were having a real effect.