British Iran Expert: Ayatollahs’ Iran Will Never Be Friend of the UK
As long as the ayatollahs brought to power by the Islamic Revolution continue to maintain their firm grip on Iran, Tehran will be no friend of Britain’s and, by extension, the West, argued journalist and author Con Coughlin in the U.K. Telegraph on Monday.
In a scathing critique of the nuclear deal with Iran and the warming of relations between Tehran and London — criticism that has been much softer in Europe compared with the U.S. — Coughlin warned that rapprochement with Iran could have a damning impact on relations with traditional U.K. allies such as Saudi Arabia, and even threaten the establishment of Iranian backed terrorist cells on British soil.
Writing as British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond visited Iran to attend the reopening of the British embassy, which was shuttered in 2011 after violent Iranian student demonstrators stormed and ransacked the mission, Coughlin warned that warming relations would pose a direct threat to Britain’s energy needs, long-secured by the close relations with the Gulf Arab states that have begrudgingly accepted the Iran nuclear deal.
Though most Gulf states are ruled under strict Islamic law that places serious restrictions on women, homosexuals and freedom of expression, Coughlin cautioned that “Britain … would be committing suicide if it abandoned its traditional Arab allies in the Gulf in favor of the Islamic fanatics who currently hold sway in Tehran.”
Coughlin wondered whether Britain’s Home Office was prepared enough to prevent the overstay of Iranian nationals, warning: “Without the proper safeguards, we could end up with Hezbollah and Revolutionary Guard terrorists setting up operations in the U.K., just like al-Qaeda and ISIS have sought to do.”
Coughlin, the defense editor at the Telegraph, wrote a book called Khomeini’s Ghost discussing how the architect of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, spread radical Islam through the world in the decades since Iran became the Islamic Republic.