Voice of America: British Prime Minister Tony Blair says military action against Iran is not contemplated, but he says the international community demands Iran meet its obligations for global security. Voice of America
By Michael Drudge
London – British Prime Minister Tony Blair says military action against Iran is not contemplated, but he says the international community demands Iran meet its obligations for global security.
Prime Minister Blair has taken to the floor of parliament to deny speculation that military action against Iran is under consideration.
“Nobody is talking about military threats or invasion of Iran or any of the rest of it,” said Mr. Blair. “What we are, however, saying is that the Iranian government has got to understand that the international community simply will not put up with their continued breach of the proper and normal standards of behavior we expect from a member of the United Nations.”
Mr. Blair had spoken sharply against Iran last week after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had called for the destruction of Israel. British media had interpreted Mr. Blair’s remarks as a military threat.
At his question-time appearance in parliament Wednesday, Mr. Blair stressed that the world is closely monitoring Iran.
“Iran has to realize that the international community cannot tolerate continuing conduct that is supporting terrorism around the world, frankly,” added Mr. Blair. “That is supporting terrorism not just in the Middle East but elsewhere. That is in breach of its nuclear weapons responsibilities and obligations under the atomic energy authority.”
Just hours before Mr. Blair spoke, a small explosive device went off in Tehran outside the offices of British Airways and British Petroleum. There were no casualties, and only minor damage.
Tensions have risen between London and Tehran since Britain recently accused Iran of supporting attacks that have killed British soldiers in Iraq.
Iran also is recalling its ambassador to London, along with its chief envoys to Paris, Berlin and Geneva, in what is seen as a purge of moderate diplomats who have been negotiating with European governments over Iran’s nuclear program.