Report: Britain to back U.S. air strikes on Iran 2007-10-07 18:52:52   Print

Special Report: Iran Nuclear Crisis

Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaks at the TUC conference in Brighton in southern England September 10, 2007. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    LONDON, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has agreed to support U.S. air strikes against Iran if the Islamic country orchestrates large-scale attacks by militants against British or American forces in Iraq, a British newspaper said on Sunday.

    According to The Sunday Telegraph, Brown has been informed of U.S. plans to launch limited air and special forces raids against Revolutionary Guard bases, senior Pentagon officials was quoted as saying.

    After talks with U.S. President George W. Bush during his visit in July, Brown indicated that Britain was "on board" for a military response -- but only if Iran was proved to be behind a big militant attack or another stunt similar to the kidnapping of British sailors in March, said the report.

    According to the report, the U.S. wanted Britain's Special Air Service Regiment to take part in special forces raids inside Iran and had requested help from the Royal Navy to combat Iranian retaliation in the Gulf. But no decisions have been made.

    Brown made clear to Bush that he would not support a campaign to destroy Iran's nuclear program and bring about regime change in Tehran. But Pentagon officials said he did indicate he would be prepared to back strikes in certain circumstances.

    "The British understand there's a possible need to strike -- not strategic bombing of nuclear sites but facilities in Iran in support of Iraqi elements. This understanding was reached shortly after Brown took office." said Vincent Cannistraro, a former White House intelligence chief in close contact with senior Pentagon officials.

    A Downing Street spokesman said, "While we won't comment on the specifics of conversations between the Prime Minister and the President of the United States, this is not a version of events we recognize."

Iran rules out talks on suspension of uranium enrichment activities

    TEHRAN, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Iran on Sunday once again ruled outtalks over its suspension of uranium enrichment activities, but nevertheless voiced its readiness to hold negotiations with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. Full story

Iranian FM: U.S. "in no position" to attack Iran

    UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said here Wednesday that the United States is not in a position to attack Iran.

    "Our analysis is clear. The United States is not in a position to impose another war in our region against their taxpayers," Mottaki said at a press conference. Full story

U.S. reiterates diplomacy on Iran's nuclear issue

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- The United States reiterated Monday that it will seek a diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear issue after the New Yorker magazine reported that the Bush administration had shifted emphasis in possible war with Iran. Full story

Editor: Wang Hongjiang
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