Reuters – May 8, 2006
Prime Minister Tony Blair on Monday ruled out an invasion of Iran and said any suggestion of a nuclear strike on the country was "absolutely absurd".
Iran has been referred to the U.N. Security Council over fears it is building nuclear arms, a charge Iran denies. Washington says it would prefer a diplomatic solution to the crisis but warns sanctions and military strikes are options.
"I don't know anybody who has even talked or contemplated the prospect of a nuclear strike on Iran. That would be absolutely absurd," Blair told a regular monthly news conference.
There has been widespread media speculation that differences over how to deal with Iran's nuclear programme were behind Blair's decision to axe Foreign Minister Jack Straw last week in a major government reshuffle.
Blair replaced Straw with former Environment Minister Margaret Beckett.
"The idea I moved Jack because of Iran ... because the Americans objected to him ... (is) rubbish," Blair said.
"Any notion that it is linked to a decision about invading Iran -- which incidentally we are not going to do -- any notion that it is linked to such a decision is utterly absurd.
The prime minister said Britain's foreign policy under Beckett, who has earned an international profile in climate change talks, would not shift direction.
"I chose Margaret because she is an outstanding politician and a very, very safe pair of hands," said Blair. "I have absolutely no doubt that the foreign policy that was articulated by Jack will not change one iota under Margaret.
Comment – May 8, 2006
Tony Blair is a proven liar. His claims that Saddam Hussein possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction and that such weapons could be deployed in 45 minutes are now both prime examples of cynical political lies.
However, at the time they served to convince the public as to the necessity of invading Iraq.
Consequently his latest claims should be viewed in exactly the same light. Not as a statement of fact or intent but as a cynical political ploy.
Moreover his denial that military action was being contemplated comes even as Russian officials claimed that moves by the United Nations to resolve the row over Iran’s nuclear program were the 'first step to war'
Blair’s denial comes despite the fact that the feasibility of a military strike
against Iran has been seriously studied for some time now.
Blair must know this but like his claims about Iraq’s WMD this is just another ruse, probably an attempt to buy more time until a full on military strike can be launched.
What's more he contradicts himeslf. Only a few months ago he refused to rule out the possibility British military action against Iran.
The sure sign of a liar is when he consistantly contradicts himself, as Blair does when he describes the idea of a military strike against Iran as "absurd", when early this year he was refusing to rule out the possibility
Last updated 13/05/2006