Blair: West Should Use Force Against Iranian Nuke Program

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair told the BBC yesterday that the West should be prepared to use force against Iran if the Islamic Republic does not give up its alleged nuclear weapons program.

The Guardian, a left-leaning daily in the U.K., says that Blair called a potential Iranian weapons program “wholly unacceptable” and said such a program leaves the West “no alternative” other than a military strike.

Blair is the Middle East envoy for the ‘Quartet’ (UN, EU, Russia and the U.S.), which is involved in multilateral negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.

Promoting his new book, Blair told the BBC’s Andrew Marr:

I am saying that I think it is wholly unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapons capability and I think we have got to be prepared to confront them, if necessary militarily. I think there is no alternative to that if they continue to develop nuclear weapons. They need to get that message loud and clear.

This hawkish rhetoric against Iran is apparently a theme for Blair of late. The Guardian piece goes on to cite its own exclusive interview with Blair (also promoting his book), where the former PM said:

Now other people may say: ‘Come on, the consequences of taking them on are too great, you’ve got to be so very careful, you’ll simply upset everybody, you’ll destabilise it.’ I understand all of those arguments. But I wouldn’t take the risk of Iran with a nuclear weapon.

In the postscript of the book itself, Blair writes: “Iran with a nuclear bomb would mean others in the region acquiring the same capability; it would dramatically alter the balance of power in the region, but also within Islam.”

(h/t reader Anthony)

Ali Gharib

Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.



  1. And he’s supposed to be an official peacemaker for the Middle East? Truly: “Quos deus vult perdere prius dementat.”

    (Those whom God wishes to destroy, he first makes mad.)

  2. I thought Harold Wilson and John Major were the worst PMs ever — until Blair came along. Nothing new here. Of more interest would be a piece about who Blair’s friends are. And by friends I mean the people who’ve made him somewhat wealthy.

  3. Blair is unhinged — Thank god he was blocked from becoming the EU President! After finding God and converting to the Catholic ‘faith’ — I was hoping he would retire to a monastery and take his wife with him — but alas no — he still needed to fill his $$$ coffers.

    –Tony Blair Wins A Million-Dollar Prize for global leadership Former PM given Dan David award for his determination to find solutions to areas in conflict — [16 Feb ’09]

    “…The award is presented by the Dan David Foundation, based at Tel Aviv University, and a spokesman for Blair said the money would be donated to the former Labour leader’s charity for religious understanding, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation…” [ha!]

    –Tony Blair calls on world to wage war on militant Islam — [23 Apr ’09]

    As ever — doing his bit to demonize Iran.

  4. I know I look at religion more than those on this board would prefer. But, consider the move from Anglican to Catholic. The difference is the authority of the Pope. Anglicans are like a bunch of cats, they can’t be corralled to do anything–Episcopals, their American counterpart is the faith of my youth. (Hell my father, a lifelong Episc. doesn’t understand the Trinity despite serving in the church.)

    But, Catholicism is an authoritarian faith. This may be less relevant for those who grew up in the faith, many more than Jews are born into their faith tradition. But, Blair chose to become a Catholic. If we assume this wasn’t for venal reasons, then he must like the central authority of the Church.

    Again, one would hard pressed to tell the difference between an Anglican service and a Catholic service, so, where’s the fire? (motivating the switch?) Perhaps after taking orders from the American Powers that Be, Blair learned to like being the submissive. So, he needed a new Domme. He’s happy to take orders, perhaps psychologically he needs it. (Like I need Ramadan to end so I can drink beer again)

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