Oct 28, 2012
Britain has rejected US requests to station troops at strategic military bases, citing secret legal advice which states that complicity in any pre-emptive strike on Iran could breach international law.
The Guardian has learnt that US diplomats have been lobbying for the use of British bases in Cyprus, and for permission to send air crews to American bases on Ascension Island in the Atlantic and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, both of which are territories under British control.
These approaches mark the cautious beginnings of a Western military standoff with Iran, though so far British officials have refused to become drawn into debate. Ministers referred US officials to initial drafts of legal advice prepared by the attorney general’s office.
These documents, circulated throughout Downing Street, the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence, provide a clear official position. Tehran does not currently represent “a clear and present threat” and enabling any forces to use force in the region would break international codes of conduct.
This article was posted: Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 5:13 am