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.