He emphasised that regime’s belligerence is more than just “technical breaches of international rules”, describing them as “destabilising”, “systemic” and “serious” actions that have no regard for the international rule of law. Mr Raab said that the Iranian regime’s actions warrant consequences.
He spoke about the recent attacks on the Saudi oil facilities in which seven cruise missiles and 18 drones targeted a processing facility and an oil field. He said that the British government did not jump to conclusions about the attacks and carefully and independently examined the facts and evidence. Only then did it become clear that Iran was involved.
At the beginning of the week, the United Kingdom, France and Germany released a joint statement condemning Iran’s attacks and Mr Raab said that – with the help of international partners – the E3 would be working towards the “most effective response”.
The Foreign Secretary took the occasion to say that the recent attacks on Saudi Arabia have served to highlight how important it is that Iran does not ever have access to nuclear weapons.
Mr. Raab highlighted The Iran 2015 nuclear deal with world was never intended to deal with the “long-standing concerns about Iran’s wider de-stabilising behaviour in the region”.
In order for progress to be made, the Foreign Secretary said that Iran must reverse its recent actions that reduced its compliance to the nuclear deal.
Mr Raab said that the US and French Presidents have spoken openly about improving upon the nuclear deal, agreeing that there needs to be a more comprehensive deal that addresses Iran’s long-term intentions.
The United Kingdom has said that it is committed to de-escalating tensions in the region, but not at any cost. The Foreign Secretary said that Iranian regime’s belligerence and disregard of international law, its appalling human rights record and its imprisonment of dual-nationals must come to an end. He described Iran’s behaviour as “unlawful”, “cruel” and “totally unacceptable”.
Mr. Raab described Iran as a proud nation with a rich history and a remarkable economic potential, yet it is all being held back by the regime.
“So, Iran faces a choice. It can double down on its approach, in which case international opposition to its behaviour will only intensify. Or it can take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions and re-build international confidence, by respecting international law and reducing the range of threats it presents to its neighbours. That is the only path to stability and prosperity – for Iran and the wider region.”