Iran spreading ‘bloodshed and destruction’, says foreign secretary

James Cleverly will reaffirm the UK’s commitment to stopping Iran from producing nuclear weapons.

Image source, Reuters

Iran is spreading “bloodshed and destruction” around the world, the foreign secretary will say.

James Cleverly will warn Iran’s weapons are threatening security, pointing to their use by Russia to target Ukrainian civilians.

He will go on to reaffirm the UK’s determination to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Iran agreed to limit nuclear activities in exchange for lifting of sanctions in 2015.

However, there are fears the country is going back on this promise.

Speaking at the Manama Dialogue international security conference in Bahrain on Saturday, Mr Cleverly is expected to say: “Iran’s nuclear programme is more advanced than ever before, and the regime has resorted to selling Russia the armed drones that are killing civilians in Ukraine.

“As their people demonstrate against decades of oppression, Iran’s rulers are spreading bloodshed and destruction as far away as Kyiv.

“Britain is determined to work alongside our friends to counter the Iranian threat, interdict the smuggling of conventional arms, and prevent the regime from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.”

Image source, PA Media

Mr Cleverly’s comments on Iran come at a time of heightened tensions.

Earlier this week the UK government imposed more sanctions on Iranian officials linked to the ongoing brutal crackdown against anti-government protests.

The demonstrations against Iran’s clerical establishment erupted two months ago after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was detained by morality police for allegedly breaking strict hijab rules.

At least 362 protesters, including 56 children, have been killed and 16,000 arrested according to the Iranian Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

On Wednesday, Ken McCallum, the director general of MI5, revealed Iranian intelligence agents had been targeting people in the UK who they regard as enemies of the regime. This included at least 10 threats since January alone to kidnap or even kill British or UK-based people perceived as enemies of the regime, he said.

After the meeting, Mr Cleverly will travel to nearby Qatar to watch England take on Iran in their opening World Cup match on Monday.

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