Britain says no to US over using military bases against Iran

26 October 2012

The 2010 Liberal Democrat manifesto explicitly ruled out military action against Iran, saying that Liberal Democrats “oppose military action against Iran and believe those calling for such action undermine the growing reform movement in Iran”.

That this policy made it into the manifesto illustrates the strong feeling on the issue, with memories of Iraq prominent in people’s minds.

Hence the importance of today’s news:

Britain rejects US request to use UK bases in nuclear standoff with Iran

Britain has rebuffed US pleas to use military bases in the UK to support the build-up of forces in the Gulf, citing secret legal advice which states that any pre-emptive strike on Iran could be in breach of international law.

The Guardian has been told that US diplomats have also lobbied for the use of British bases in Cyprus, and for permission to fly from US bases on Ascension Island in the Atlantic and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, both of which are British territories.

The US approaches are part of contingency planning over the nuclear standoff with Tehran, but British ministers have so far reacted coolly.

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