Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that the collapse of a nuclear deal with Iran would “represent an existential threat to mankind”.
He claims to act as a protector of the peace. Yet his approach so far has been to send multiple warships to the Gulf and to use troops against an Iranian oil tanker in international waters.
The nuclear deal, agreed in 2015, saw Iran agree to limits on its reactor programme in return for sanctions relief.
But US president Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in May last year, and reimposed sanctions.
In response, Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani said Iran would increase its uranium enrichment beyond the threshold agreed in the deal. The rows have led to increasing tensions.
The latest episode saw Royal Marines seize an oil tanker near Gibraltar on 4 July.
Authorities claimed the tanker was taking crude oil to Syria, which is subject to European Union sanctions. Iran denounced the “illegal seizure” and foreign ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi called it a “form of piracy”.
Britain raised its threat level for British ships in Iranian waters to “critical” on Tuesday of last week —the highest level.
The next day, three Iranian gun boats “harassed” oil tanker British Heritage in the Strait of Hormuz.
They left after the Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose trained its guns on them.
Now Britain has sent a second warship, HMS Duncan, to the Gulf.
Hunt said the detained tanker could be released if Iran guaranteed that it would not go to Syria. Iran demanded it be released immediately.
The West is painting Iran as a threat to justify attacks—and ratcheting up the risk of war.
Colonel Kemp claimed that “only with very stiff resistance will they get the message.”
We must resist the West’s war drive.
Powerful protests keep up the pressure
Bosses are obsessed with making cuts
Another year of inaction from our rulers