Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 August 2019

UK 'should increase pressure on Iran after regional aggression'

United Against Nuclear Iran says Tehran’s activity in Yemen shows the regime’s malign intent

Northern Tehran, Iran, on Friday, July 11, 2019. AP Photo
Northern Tehran, Iran, on Friday, July 11, 2019. AP Photo

A leading advocacy group on Iran has called on the UK to re-evaluate its stance on Tehran, and further pressure the country after its increasingly aggressive behaviour.

In the past few weeks, there have been attacks on commercial vessels in the Gulf of Oman and an attempted attack on an oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, prevented by the presence of a British Royal Navy frigate.

“Iran’s manoeuvres in recent weeks make plain the cost of the UK and EU’s middle-course” on the nuclear deal signed by world powers and Iran, said David Ibsen, president of United Against Nuclear Iran.

“The seizure of an Iranian supertanker by British Royal Marines off Gibraltar, apparently destined for Syria and Bashar Al Assad’s murderous regime, only underlines the price of appeasement.”

Tehran has threatened Britain for taking the tanker, saying it was playing a dangerous game and that there would be consequences.

Mr Ibsen said Tehran’s aggression through proxies in countries such as Yemen, where it is backing the Houthi rebels, and its announcement that it had breached the uranium enrichment limit in the agreement showed “the malign intent” of the regime.

“Iran’s reckless and provocative behaviour is not that of a responsible actor and the time has come for the UK to take stock of its proper place in the stand-off against Tehran,” he said.

Britain announced last week that it was sending a naval destroyer to the region to de-escalate the crisis. The US is also sending more military assets.

On Monday, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned that Tehran was a year away from developing a nuclear weapon.

Updated: July 17, 2019 08:41 AM