UK warns Israel against pre-emptive attack on Iran

 Amid heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf, Britain today said it would not be ''wise'' for Israel to launch pre-emptive military strikes on Iran's atomic installations as it would have ''enormous downsides.''

Foreign Secretary William Hague said that Britain has urged Israel not to strike. "We support a twin-track strategy of sanctions and pressure and negotiations on the other hand.

"All options must remain on the table" but a military attack would have "enormous downsides", he told the Daily Telegraph.

Separately, Hague told the BBC that the UK had not been shown any plans by Israel for an attack on Iran and had not been asked to be involved in any such attack.
"I don't think the wise thing at this moment is for Israel to launch a military attack on Iran," he said.

"I think Israel, like everybody else in the world, should be giving a real chance to the approach that we have adopted, of very serious economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure, and the readiness to negotiate with Iran.

"And that's what we now have to make a success of."He said that the UK was 100 per cent focused on using diplomacy and economically targeted sanctions "bringing Iran back to the table".

Tensions over Iran's nuclear programme are running high. Israel, the US, Britain and others suspect that Iran is using the programme as cover for producing of atomic weapons. Some observers fear that Israel may be planning a strike against Iran, the world's third largest oil exporter.

In response, Iran has threatened to withhold its own oil deliveries and to block the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway along its coastline through which one-fifth of the world's oil flows.

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