x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Miliband: 'Iran immediate threat'

The British foreign secretary tells a conference in Abu Dhabi that Iran's nuclear programme would be a blow to peace in the region.

David Miliband addresses the audience during the Annual Energy Conference  at The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research in Abu Dhabi.
David Miliband addresses the audience during the Annual Energy Conference at The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research in Abu Dhabi.

ABU DHABI // Britain's foreign policy chief said today that Iran's nuclear programme presents an immediate threat to the Middle East and the rest of the world. The comments by the British foreign secretary David Miliband came a few days after a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said its investigation into Iran's nuclear programme was "deadlocked". "A nuclear Iran would present a decisive blow to those seeking peaceful solutions to the region's problems," said Mr Miliband at a conference on nuclear energy in the Gulf held in Abu Dhabi.

Britain, the US and many other Western countries accuse Iran of using its nuclear programme as a cover for weapons development - a claim denied by Tehran. Mr Miliband said the choice for Iran was clear: "It can co-operate and halt its enrichment or continue on its current path toward the future of confrontation and isolation." The British foreign secretary said Gulf countries have offered Iran "serious incentives of co-operation" if it suspends uranium enrichment, an activity that can make nuclear fuel or fissile material for a bomb.

The IAEA said in a report last week that Tehran's stonewalling meant the agency could not provide credible assurances about the nature of Iran's nuclear programme. *AP