Britain hints at Iran appeasement over economic fears

Iran appears to have Britain over a barrel regarding its nuclear weapons programme and its influence over global oil prices

by The Commentator on 6 December 2012 10:33

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Britain's Defence Minister has hinted at a policy of appesement towards Iran over its nuclear aspirations.

Speaking to the British Parliament's joint committee on national security strategy, Defence Minister Philip Hammond implied that Britain is skeptical of an attack on Iran due to the potential cost to the economy and a British recovery.

Though evident, Hammond stated that an attack would have a "direct effect" on the British economy, as Iran has on previous occasions threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz in response to international pressure. This in turn would cause oil prices to spike, leading to a major problem for oil importers such as Britain.

Hammond stated, "Firstly, the Government firmly believes we should continue to pursue the diplomatic route in persuading Iran to abandon its nuclear ambtions, but in doing so we should take nothing off the table.”

While unsuprising, Hammond's words will be criticised for emboldening Iran, especially if it is perceived that a united international response to a potential attack is unlikely. 

Hammond stated that a "third party attack", a reference to an American or Israeli-led raid on Iran's nuclear facilities would have detrimental effects for Britain. He said: “In terms of a third party attack on Iran, in terms of the impact on the UK, anything which destabilises the region, which put at risk flows of oil from the Gulf, any attempt to close the straits of Hormuz, would have a direct and immediate effect on the price of oil and therefore a direct effect on the prospects for economic growth and economic recovery in the UK.”

Recently, Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel showed the United Nations how easy it would be for Iran to enrich their nuclear material to weapons grade. Various IAEA reports, as well as other intelligence, have reported on Iran's intentions to build a nuclear weapon - a matter which seriously concerns neighbouring Middle Eastern countries, especially Israel.

Britain and Israel have recently undergone a thawing in diplomatic relations in response to the recent Israel-Gaza war, the United Nations statehood bid and Israel's stated intention to develop the E1 area of Jerusalem.

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