How the UK got Sucked into this Mess

John Bolton is whispering hawkish deeds in Trump’s ear (Image: GETTY)

UK ‘dragged into US-Iran tensions by Donald Trump’s security advisor’

BRITAIN has been dragged into the United States’ diplomatic war with Iran after being pressured by Donald Trump’s security adviser John Bolton, an analyst has claimed.

By KUMAIL JAFFER

PUBLISHED: 15:38, Thu, Jul 25, 2019

UPDATED: 15:40, Thu, Jul 25, 2019

The US-Iran war threat is ‘very significant‘ according to foreign affairs expert Henry Rome. He says the risk ‘should not be understated.’

A total of 23 shipmates are currently being held captured after Iran stormed the Stena Impero off the Strait of Hormuz on July 19. Tehran’s actions came in response to Royal Marines seizing Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar two weeks earlier. Two analysts suggested Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s move was part of a wider plan orchestrated by President Trump’s national security advisor.

Gareth Porter, an analyst at The American Conservative, believes the tanker seizure was an attempt to push tensions with Iran to breaking point.

He said: “Evidence indicates that the British move was part of a bigger scheme coordinated by National Security Advisor John Bolton. 

“The evidence also reveals that Bolton was actively involved in targeting the Grace 1 from the time it began its journey in May as part of the broader Trump administration campaign of ‘maximum pressure’ on Iran.”

If the UK acted in a rational and legal basis, it would not have carried out the operation, he added.

Bolton has called for strikes on Iran since 2007 (Image: GETTY)

It was only because they were prompted by the US – most likely Mr Bolton – that Mr Hunt ordered the seizure. 

Evidence also suggests that Mr Bolton put pressure on the Panamanian government to stop allowing Iranian vessels to fly their flag.

This meant that they could not transport goods undercover, leaving the Grace 1 ship to be seized in plain sight.

Mr Porter’s words were echoed by Guardian columnist Simon Tisdall, who claimed that Britain was set up by Mr Bolton.

He wrote: “John Bolton, White House national security adviser and notorious Iraq-era hawk, is a man on a mission.

Given broad latitude over policy by Donald Trump, he is widely held to be driving the US confrontation with Iran.

“And in his passionate bid to tame Tehran, Bolton cares little who gets hurt – even if collateral damage includes a close ally such as Britain.” 

He concluded: “Britain is blindly dancing to the beat of Bolton’s war drums”.

John Bolton is not unopposed in the White House, however, which could be why a war has not broken out between Tehran and Washington.

Senator Rand Paul’s installation in the Iran negotiating team had American hawks up in arms.

The libertarian congressman, who is known for his anti-war stance, met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif after being given the green light by the President.

Bolton tried to get Trump to strike Iran last month (Image: GETTY)

It is thought he will come to blows with Mr Bolton on Washington’s negotiation strategy going forward.

Mr Bolton may also have to compete with Tucker Carlson, a popular Fox News pundit who President Trump often consults for foreign policy advice.

He labelled Mr Bolton a “bureaucratic tapeworm” after the national security adviser almost succeeded in calling for air strikes on Tehran.

President Trump called them off with minutes to spare after consulting Mr Carlson.

Mr Bolton has long been an opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, which President Trump pulled out of last month.

The US-Iran war threat is ‘very significant’ according to foreign affairs expert Henry Rome. He says the risk ‘should not be understated.’

The move signalled the start of rising tensions between Iran and the US, resulting in the current diplomatic crisis.

Mr Bolton first called for the US to attack Iran under President George W Bush.

In 2007, he endorsed Vice President Dick Cheney’s call for airstrikes on Iran, and a year later, he suggested the same due to Iran’s alleged support for anti-American forces in Iraq.

He has since called for the bombing of Tehran on a consistent basis, even as he entered the upper echelons of the White House.

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