James Forsyth

Official: Iran told HMG it was killing British troops in Iraq

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Tucked away in today’s papers is a very important story, a statement on the record by Sir John Sawers, formerly political director at the Foreign Office now Britain’s ambassador to the UN, about a deal the Iranians offered:

"The Iranians wanted to be able to strike a deal whereby they stopped killing our forces in Iraq in return for them being allowed to carry on with their nuclear programme: 'We stop killing you in Iraq, stop undermining the political process there, you allow us to carry on with our nuclear programme without let or hindrance'."

It has long been known that the Iranians are responsible for the deaths of British forces in Iraq. But Sir John Sawers is the most senior official to say it and make explicit that the Iranians told the British government that they were doing this.

When there is an Iraq inquiry it must examine how forcefully Britain responded to this Iranian aggression, what efforts were made to disrupt the supply bases and training camps inside Iran that were being used. It also strikes me as quite wrong that British companies are doing business with a country that we know killed British troops.  


Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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