Friday, 19 March 2021

British Atomic hypocrisy

Letter sent to The Guardian: In your report on the defence, security and foreign policy review (“ UK could use Trident to counter cyber-attack,” Guardian, 17 March 2021; https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/mar/16/defence-review-uk-could-use-trident-to-counter-cyber-attack ) your reporters cite an unnamed ‘insider’” ( it does not say inside what, but I will assume government) as a saying “If we have them (nuclear weapons), let’s not apologise for it, let’s own it.” In answering MPs’ questions in the House of Commons following the release of the review, the prime minister asserted: “In particular, of course, we are concerned by the risk of Iran developing a viable nuclear weapon.* (Hansard, 16 March) It was unsurprising, therefore to read that Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif quickly accused prime minister Boris Johnson of “utter hypocrisy” on Twitter for announcing plans to increase Britain’s arsenal of weapons of mass destruction while chastising Tehran for its own nuclear programme. Mr Zarif challenged Mr Johnson for making his critical concern over Iran’s alleged atomic aspirations on the very same day as announcing that “his country will increase its stockpile of nuclear warheads” adding “Unlike the UK and allies, Iran believes nukes and all WMDs are barbaric and must be eradicated.” (https://www.rt.com/news/518287-iran-zarif-johnson-nuclear-weapons/) I think Mr Zarif has a sound point.

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