Theresa May ‘clear-eyed’ over threat posed by Iran
Theresa May will today say she is “clear-eyed” about the threat posed by Iran as she pledges to work with Gulf States to counteract the country’s “aggressive regional actions”.
In a speech at the Gulf Co-Operation Council, the Prime Minister will highlight last year’s nuclear deal which “neutralised” the possibility of the Middle Eastern country acquiring weapons of mass destruction.
The agreement saw economic sanctions lifted after the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iran had restricted its nuclear activities.
It was signed by Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers; the US, UK, China, Russia, France and Germany. US President-Elect Donald Trump has signalled his intent to tear up the agreement.
But Mrs May will today urge continued vigilance towards Iran: "As we address new threats to our security, so we must also continue to confront state actors whose influence fuels instability in the region.
"So I want to assure you that I am clear-eyed about the threat that Iran poses to the Gulf and the wider Middle East; and the UK is fully committed to our strategic partnership with the Gulf and working with you to counter that threat."
In her speech, the Prime Minister will say Iran has sent fighters to Syria to help prop up the Assad regime, and has provided support to the Houthis in Sanaa amid the conflict in Yemen.
The Conservative leader will also accuse Iran of undermining stability in Lebanon and Iraq.
"We secured a deal which has neutralised the possibility of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons for over a decade. It has already seen Iran remove 13,000 centrifuges together with associated infrastructure and eliminate its stock of 20%-enriched uranium,” she will add.
"That was vitally important for regional security. But we must also work together to push back against Iran's aggressive regional actions, whether in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Syria or in the Gulf itself."
Following intense six-way talks in Switzerland last year, Tehran agreed to reduce its uranium enrichment by 98% in exchange for gradual relief of international sanctions.