UK "no intention" of attacking Iran, insists Blair
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
London, May 4, IRNA
Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is under pressure over the Iraq war, has denied that Britain has any plans to attack Iran because of its nuclear program.
"I've got no intention of bombing their nuclear installations or anything else," said Blair, who is seeking a record third term in Thursday's general election.
In an interview with Channel 4 News Tuesday, he insisted that it was "absurb" to suggest that he was planning to commit Britain to an invasion of Iran.
On Monday, the British premier reiterated that he could see "no circumstances" to justify using military action against Iran because of it nuclear program.
But when questioned by ITV's Jonathan Dimbleby he refused to say whether he endorsed the recent commitment made by his Foreign Secretary Jack Straw that the UK would not take part in any attack on Iran, even if the U.S. decided it was necessary.
Over the last week of the general election campaign, Blair has come under increasing fire over his decision to join the US-led war against Iraq.
Asked by Channel 4 News if he could guarantee that Britain would not launch any pre-emptive strikes on Iran, Blair insisted that "Iran is not Iraq."
"We've got a process fortunately with Iran, where you've got France, Germany, the UK and America working on the same side together," he said.
Anti-war campaigners have also been seeking a pledge from the British premier that he will not follow US President George Bush into any more Iraq-style war against Iran or Syria.
Former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, who opposed the war, told voters in Scotland on Tuesday that the Iraq debacle had made it impossible for the Government to launch a similar conflict.
"I believe we can be confident it cannot happen again. Downing Street doesn't have the authority to do it again after all that has happened," said Cook, who also believes that it is "inevitable" that Blair will be replaced after the elections.
::IRNA No.030 04/05/2005 14:59 --End
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