British Parliament Member Says UK Support for Iran Deal Comes ‘at Expense of Long-Term Allies’
Following the U.K.’s recent reopening of its embassy in Tehran, a British Member of Parliament has accused his government of supporting the “aggressive” Iranian regime over Britain’s true friends.
Conservative MP Guto Bebb also criticized the British government for supporting the Iranian nuclear deal “at the expense of our long-term allies in the region.”
In an interview with Tazpit, Bebb described U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond’s hopes for Iran’s becoming a reformable regime as “misguided.”
The Aberconwy MP, who called for a parliamentary debate in June to discuss the Iranian nuclear deal then under discussion, added that the latitude given to the Iranian government would have been unacceptable to the U.K. government a year ago.
Bebb said he advocated for the continuation of sanctions, which he claimed were proving to be effective measures against Iranian aggression.
Rejecting Hammond’s parliamentary remarks that the deal represented a victory for diplomacy, and Hammond’s assurances to Prime Minister Netanyahu in July that it removes the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon, Bebb told Tazpit he is amazed “that the foreign secretary seems to consider this a success story; his predecessor, Liam Fox, considers this to be completely unacceptable.”
Furthermore, Bebb predicted, the deal will likely result in a nuclear arms race in the region, beginning with Saudi Arabia. Recounting meetings with representatives of British allies in the region, Bebb claimed that they had all expressed concern over any deal that gives Iran too much flexibility.
While expressing his concern for Israel’s security, Bebb insisted that fears of a nuclear arms race were not restricted to Israel, and that this “was not an issue for Israel alone.”
The MP told Tazpit that it is important to “understand the difference between a peaceful and democratic state that is trying to live within its own borders and Iran, [which] will use its nuclear capacity to dominate the Middle East.”
In July 2014, the British Conservative Friends of Israel, of which Bebb is a member, issued a statement decrying economic sanctions relief for Iran which, they said, will serve to embolden terror groups funded by the Islamic Republic.