Lloyd Austin, the US defence secretary, also issued a warning to Israel, telling its prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the surge in violence around the occupied West Bank was hindering its chances of jointly taking down Iran’s threat.
In a statement on Thursday, Mr Austin said “frank and candid” discussions had taken place between the two nations, but he “remained concerned about what we’re seeing in terms of escalation of violence”.
Ahead of the meeting, the Financial Times reported, a US official added: “Focusing on violence in the West Bank… detracts from our ability to focus on… Iran’s dangerous nuclear advances and continuing regional and global aggression.”
Iran’s next moves were recently analysed in a piece by Con Coughlin, the Telegraph’s defence editor and chief foreign affairs columnist, titled, ‘Iran is gearing up to attack Britain and the West‘.
He described how Iran’s “deepening desire to intensify its confrontation with the West is evident from the support it has given Russia in the Ukraine conflict” and that US officials, working within Washington’s national security departments, have noted how the country was “aiming to expand its military support by providing ballistic missiles”.
Mr Coughlin continued: “At the same time, there is evidence that Iran is increasing its more low-level terrorist activities in Europe. The presence of Iranian hit squads in London sent to silence critics of the regime recently forced a prominent Iranian opposition channel to relocate to Washington.
“The British authorities could not provide adequate protection, a worrying indication of the poor state of preparedness of our security services to deal with Iran’s nefarious activities.”
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He added: “Rather than pandering to the ayatollahs, there now needs to be a major rethink of how we deal with Iran, one that takes full cognisance of the scale of Tehran’s hostile intent.”
The most pressing issue facing Britain, and other allies in the West, is Iran’s ambition to continue collecting nuclear arms, despite sanctions refusing it to carry out such actions.
Assessments made by Western officials had to be raised after it emerged that nuclear inspectors found uranium particles at the Iranian Fordow plant had 83.7 percent purity, hidden deep within the country’s mountains.
The facility, Mr Coughlin noted, was built in the early part of the millennium and was subjected to “desperate” attempts by Iranians to “conceal the existence” of it from the United Nations, knowing the plant represented a breach of the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
In a statement from the US, France, Germany and Britain, the nations described IAEA’s findings as “alarming… Iran continues its unprecedented and grave nuclear escalation”, Corinne Kitsell and Götz Schmidt-Bremme, the British and German ambassadors to the watchdog said.
The pair added: “This is significantly inconsistent with the level of enrichment declared by Iran and Iran has yet to convince us that this was due to its claimed ‘unintended fluctuations’.”
The US’ ambassador to the IAEA, Laura Holgate, said that “no other country in the world today utilizes uranium enriched to 60 percent for the purpose Iran claims”.
She added: “The reality remains that Iran continues to single itself out through its own actions,” she said. “Iran should cease its nuclear provocations and its continued pursuit of steps that pose grave proliferation risks.”
Iran continued to strengthen its Eastern ties this week as Tehran and Saudi Arabia agreed to reopen embassies in each other’s nations within the next two months, its state media outlets confirmed.
Following discussions in Beijing, Iran’s news agency, IRNA, reported on Friday: “As a result of the talks, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to resume diplomatic relations and re-open embassies … within two months.”
Its state television added: “After implementing of the decision, the foreign ministers of both nations will meet to prepare for exchange of ambassadors.”
Original News : https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1744891/iran-war-britain-russia-spt
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