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'Britain to discuss Iran strike consequences'

British Govt will hold secret talks with defence chiefs to discuss consequences of possible military strikes against Iran, a report said.

india Updated: Apr 02, 2006 10:11 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

The British government is to hold secret talks with defence chiefs on Monday to discuss the consequences of possible military strikes against Iran, the

Sunday Telegraph

newspaper reported.

Citing a senior Foreign Office source, the weekly said the meeting would consider the aftermath of an American-led attack on Iranian nuclear sites.

The United States and its allies believe Iran is using its nuclear programme to hide an attempt to develop an atomic bomb.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) denied that such discussions were to take place.

The source told the newspaper: "Monday's meeting will set out to address the consequences for Britain in the event of an attack against Iran.

"The CDS (chiefs of defence staff) will want to know what the impact will be on British interests in Iraq and Afghanistan which both border Iran.

"The CDS will then brief the prime minister and the cabinet on their conclusions in the next few days."

The United Nations Security Council issued a statement Wednesday calling on Iran to halt uranium enrichment within 30 days.

"If Iran makes another strategic mistake, such as ignoring demands by the UN or future resolutions, then the thinking among the chiefs is that military action could be taken to bring an end to the crisis," the source said.

"There will be no invasion of Iran but the nuclear sites will be destroyed. This is not something that will happen imminently, maybe this year, maybe next year."

The belief in some government departments was that an attack was now "all but inevitable", the newspaper said.

An MoD spokesman said: "No such meeting between defence, foreign office and other officials is taking place.

"There will be no briefing of the prime minister and the Cabinet Office in this regard, nor are there any plans for such a briefing."



First Published: Apr 02, 2006 10:11 IST