Cameron warns of nuclear-armed Iran
Last Friday it was reported that UK Prime Minister David Cameron is considering stationing Eurofighter Typhoon warplanes in the Persian Gulf.
While David Cameron has just flown into Dubai in a selling exerice for Typhoon jets his thoughts on stationing these front-line fighters in the Persian Gulf region are unlikely to be unconnected with the growing threat of Iran developing a nuclear capability.
In a report in the Independent, the UK premier has said that allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons would be a “desperately bad development for the world”. In conjunction with his sales trip to the region he has been holding talks in the United Arab Emirates on future defence co-operation.
In this context there is speculation that the UK could station forces in the region more permanently as contingency plans are examined for any escalation of the Iran stand-off.
Questioned by university students in Abu Dhabi the UK Prime Minister spoke of a dual threat relating to Iran's activities.
Wiping Israel off the map
In relation to Iran's position regarding its neighbours Cameron stated: "First of all, if Iran is embarked on trying to acquire a nuclear weapon, as I believe it is, that is a threat in itself, particularly given what Iran has said about other countries in the region, and in particular about Israel, about wanting to 'wipe it off the map'".
This ambition is shared across the Arab and Muslim world as a direct threat to what the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has called: "My land" (Joel 3:2).
New arms race
Secondly he saw the result of a nuclear-armed Iran as the trigger for setting off a new arms race across the whole region "that would consume a huge amount of resources and energy but also I think make the Middle East a more dangerous, more unstable part of the world."
In a message to the Ahmedinijad regime he said: "There is a path you could take that will remove the pariah status from your nation and that is to accept that you could have civil nuclear power but not military nuclear power."
While Cameron made no reference to the warring split within Islam, it is of major concern to the predominantly-Sunni countries in the Arabian peninsula that a Shia-dominated Iran could achieve a military supremacy.
Travelling with the PM is UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond who has recently aired his belief that the UK and other European nations should take more responsibility for security in the Middle East and beyond. His view is with reference to the current dependence on and preponderance of US forces and military bases across the region. In addition to land bases the US 5th fleet of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships are on permanent station in the Gulf area.
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