View Full Version : Britain "Will Lead" Against Iran, Brown Says

11-14-2007, 09:38 AM
Britain 'will lead' against Iran, Brown says


By John F. Burns Published: November 13, 2007

LONDON: Britain will push for a worldwide ban on foreign investment in Iran's oil and gas industry and other financial sanctions unless two reports due this month show that it is ready to abandon efforts to acquire nuclear weapons, according to Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

In a speech setting out his government's foreign policy agenda, Brown said Monday that Iran posed "the greatest immediate challenge" to the effort to curb the spread of nuclear weapons. He warned Iran that "it has a choice: confrontation with the international community leading to a tightening of sanctions, or, if it changes its approach and ends its support for terrorism, a transformed relationship with the world."

At a meeting in London last week, the six-nation group monitoring Iran's response to demands for an end to its uranium enrichment program - made up of Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany - agreed to consider a new round of UN sanctions against Iran if there were no early breakthrough on the issue. Two new reports on Iran's compliance, one by the European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, and another by the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, are due before the end of the month.

"Unless positive outcomes" flow from the reports, Brown said, "we will lead in seeking tougher sanctions both at the UN and in the European Union, including on oil and gas investment and the financial sector. Iran should be in no doubt about our seriousness of purpose."

The warning, the bluntest given by Britain, came in Brown's speech at the Lord Mayor's Banquet, an annual event that British prime ministers traditionally use for major foreign policy addresses. In office for six months, Brown appeared eager to depict himself as a match in international affairs for his predecessor, Tony Blair, and in particular to answer critics who have predicted that Britain, under the Brown government, would be a less congenial partner of the United States than it was during Blair's 10 years in office.

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France visited Washington last week, during which he expressed his admiration for the United States and his intention to abandon years of estrangement between Paris and Washington. Under Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany's relationship with the United States has also warmed.

Brown seemed eager to regain lost ground. "It is no secret that I have been a lifelong admirer of the United States," he said.

Steven R. Weisman contributed reporting from Washington.

China takes middle road
China said Tuesday that sanctions were not the way to resolve the confrontation over Iran's nuclear ambitions, Reuters reported from Beijing. At the same time, China also urged Tehran to be more compromising.

The comments came as Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi went to Tehran for talks on the dispute and a senior U.S. Treasury official was in Beijing to discuss financial penalties on Iran.

"We urge Iran to respond positively to international calls and adopt a flexible stance," a ministry spokesman, Liu Jianchao, said at a regular news conference. "We believe that sanctions, especially unilateral sanctions, are of no help."

11-14-2007, 08:27 PM
I've got an idea, why don't they just go it alone.

11-14-2007, 08:33 PM
Or... and I know this sounds crazy, but... DON'T DO IT AT ALL.

11-14-2007, 08:58 PM
If I wasn't living in America, I'd think it would be ironic if Bush and Brown attacked Iran before Bush's term was up, and than someone like Obama got into office and then pulled out of that war leaving Brown all alone.