British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly pledged on Saturday to work with allies to “deal with the Iranian threat”, accusing it of “bloodshed” from the Middle East to Ukraine.
Iran has admitted to sending drones in Russia, but insisted it supplied them to its ally ahead of the Russian military operation in Ukraine.
“Iranian weapons threaten the entire region,” Cleverly told the annual Manama Dialogue Conference in Bahrain, noting that “Iran’s nuclear program is now more advanced than ever, and the regime has resorted to selling armed drones to Russia that kill civilians in Ukraine.”
“As their people demonstrate against decades of oppression, Iran’s rulers are spilling blood and destruction in the whole region (the Middle East) and up to Kiev,” added the British Foreign Secretary.
He stressed that Britain was determined to work “alongside our friends to address the Iranian threat, prevent the smuggling of conventional weapons and prevent the regime from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability”.
He was speaking a day after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned in Bahrain that Iran’s “weapons proliferation” posed a threat to Europe, hinting at further sanctions against Iran.
On Monday, the European Union imposed sanctions on more than 30 top Iranian officials and organizations over the campaign in course to suppress protesters in the country and to supply Russia with drones.
Tehran has warned of a “proportionate and firm” response to the European Union for the expansion of sanctions.
“No country is immune from the disruption it causes to markets or the damage it causes to global food security,” Cleverly said of Russia.
“Putin’s war is causing more suffering to Syrians and Yemenis who were already suffering the deprivations due to the humanitarian emergency, and to trapped ordinary Lebanese in an economic crisis,” he added.
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