Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron warned yesterday that Iran is in the process of developing nuclear missiles capable of hitting London, marking the first time a British minister has indicated that Iran might be able to launch a direct attack on the United Kingdom.
Cameron made the statement in a meeting of senior Ministers of Parliament (MPs) on the Commons liaison committee, following a closed-door briefing by MI6 (Britain’s foreign intelligence service) chief Sir John Sawers and national security adviser Sir Kim Darroch on the Iranian nuclear threat.
Whereas Iran had previously been thought to only possess medium-range missiles, Cameron told MPs that the Islamic Republic was trying to develop “intercontinental missiles.” Medium-range missiles have a reach of about 1,500 miles, while intercontinental missiles have a range of 3,500 miles or more – which easily covers the 2,700 miles from Tehran to London.
“I don’t believe that an Iranian nuclear weapon is just a threat to Israel,” he said. “Not least because there are signs that the Iranians want to have some sort of intercontinental missile capability. So we have to be clear this is potentially a threat much more widely.”
Cameron insisted that diplomatic maneuvers should be given more time but insisted that military action remained an option. “Nothing is off the table. It is difficult to say that because no one wants to see conflict in any way.”
Referring to recent fears that Israel was considering a military strike in the near future, Cameron said: “Today, we think that military action against Iran by Israel would not be the right approach. We have said that both publicly and privately to the Israelis. We think this track of sanctions and pressure has further to run.”