Like a person going up in an escalator while asserting they are going down, the British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has a bizarre way of trying to assure Iran that war is not on the cards.
Hunt, who is vying to become Britain’s new prime minister, stated on camera that “he wants to de-escalate” the danger of a military confrontation with Iran over mounting tensions in the Persian Gulf.
That was only days after he vowed to dramatically increase Britain’s military spending and in particular, boost the country’s naval firepower – citing Iran as the main threat to British commercial shipping interests.
It also follows news that London has ordered a second warship to patrol the Persian Gulf. Earlier this week a British Royal Navy frigate reportedly challenged Iranian military vessels (three small boats) after they allegedly tried to impede a British oil tanker entering the narrow Strait of Hormuz. Iran vehemently denied any such interference by its boats and claimed that Britain and the US were engaging in a provocation.
Given that the Pentagon has announced plans to send an international coalition of warships to the Gulf “over the next two weeks”, under the guise of protecting commercial shipping from alleged Iranian threats, it must certainly look to Iran like the “war escalator” is speeding upwards.
Hunt has previously asserted that British forces would join in any American military attack on Iran. The resonance of past Anglo-American skullduggery…