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UK says Iran's nuke ambitions could trigger 'new Cold War'

London, Sat, 18 Feb 2012 ANI

London, Feb 18 (ANI): British Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned that Iran's nuclear ambitions are likely to trigger 'a new Cold War' in the Middle East, which would be more dangerous than that between the West and the Soviet Union.


During an interview with The Telegraph, Hague pointed out that the Iranian nuclear programme is a "crisis coming down the tracks" which could lead to military conflict in the Middle East.


He said that Iran is threatening to spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East which could be worse than the original East-West Cold War as there are not the same "safety mechanisms" in place.


"It is a crisis coming down the tracks. Because they are clearly continuing their nuclear weapons programme. If they obtain nuclear weapons capability, then I think other nations across the Middle East will want to develop nuclear weapons," the paper quoted Hague, as saying.


"And so, the most serious round of nuclear proliferation since nuclear weapons were invented would have begun with all the destabilising effects in the Middle East. And the threat of a new cold war in the Middle East without necessarily all the safety mechanisms. That would be a disaster in world affairs," he added.


According to the report, Hague repeatedly stressed that "all options must remain on the table" when confronting the Iranian regime, despite Liberal Democrat concerns that the Government may be dragged into another military conflict.


"We 'have to be concerned' that Britain could be in range of Iranian nuclear weapons - or that nuclear materials could fall into the hands of terrorists," he added.


Hague also said that Britain was not taking part in any "secret war" against Iran following the killings of several Iranian nuclear scientists in Tehran.


"It is not our way of dealing with this to have assassinations or to advocate military action. Although I do stress again, we are taking nothing off the table," he added. (ANI)


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