The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has praised the UK Government’s rejection of US requests to use British military bases as part of a build-up of its forces in the Gulf. The move puts a check on US mobilisation amid an escalation of the confrontation around Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions.

In May, CND and Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) sent a letter to David Cameron expressing concerns about the illegality of any pre-emptive strike on Iran – including support for other states involved in a military intervention. Without the support of the UN Security Council and in the absence of an evidenced threat – any strike would be illegal under international law.

Kate Hudson, CND General Secretary, stated:

“It is good news that the UK Government has both sought legal advice on the status of a pre-emptive military intervention in Iran, and is actually following it through. The Government has recognised that international law prohibits not only direct participation in such a strike, but also support or assistance to any state engaging in such unlawful actions. This is an important and laudable step. Indeed, the Government appears to have learned from the disaster of Iraq.

“The current tensions in the Middle East require diplomatic solutions. This is where the energy of our government must be focused. It must continue to reject developments that make a military conflict more likely, and work to ensure that the diplomatic process can operate and succeed.”