Theresa May warns Iran over breaching nuclear deal and oil tanker attacks

Posted On: 
17th June 2019

Downing Street has warned Iran that nothing is off the table in response to its "destabilising activity" in the Middle East.

Theresa May has called on Iran to stop 'destabilising' the Middle East.
PA Images

The Prime Minister's spokesman said the UK would be forced to respond if, as expected, the Iranian government breaks the terms of a deal aimed at reducing its nuclear capabilities.

Iran has said it will breach the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which it signed in 2015, within 10 days by exceeding its agreed limits of enriched uranium.

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In response, the Prime Minister's spokesman said: "We have been clear about our concern at Iranian plans to reduce compliance with the JCPOA. Should Iran cease meeting its nuclear commitments, we would then look at all options available to us."

Meanwhile, the UK has said that Iran was "almost certainly" responsible for recent attacks on oil tankers in the Middle East.

The US has already produced video footage which it says proves that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard was behind the incidents.

"No other state or non-state actor could plausibly have been responsible," said Mrs May's spokesman. "These latest attacks build on a pattern of destabilising Iranian behaviour and pose a serious danger to the region. That is why we have called on Iran to cease all forms of destabilising activity."

However, Downing Street sources played down suggestions that the UK could take part in military action against the Iranian regime, insisting that economic sanctions will be the most likely response. 

He said: "The UK remains in close co-ordination with our international partners to find diplomatic solutions to de-escalate tensions.

"We want to find diplomatic solutions to de-escalate tensions. Unintended escalation would not be in any party's interest."

On Sunday, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt refused to rule out the possibility of a military clash.

He said: "This is the great risk of the situation that we are in. Both sides in this dispute think that the other side wouldn't want a war. We are urging all sides to de-escalate."