|code: 293048||Date: 2012/01/27||source: Press TV|
Britain in war and peace with Iran
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - “We are not planning to take military action in the [Persian] Gulf. We call on Iran to return to the negotiations, which are at all times available to it,” William Hague said Tuesday.
The British official, who made the comments in response to an urgent question tabled by Conservative Robert Halfon, noted," all options remain on the table" but the UK did not "want to see a military conflict over this."
This comes as British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said on Tuesday that two British and French warships and the American aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln had entered the Persian Gulf on Sunday.
Hammond added that the decision to send British HMS Argyll was to send a "clear signal" to Tehran.
When asked if more resources could be sent, Hammond said, "The UK has a contingent capability to reinforce that presence should at any time it be considered necessary to do so."
The British Foreign Secretary further claimed the EU-backed sanctions against Iran aim to prevent a military conflict.
"This is not a set of actions designed to lead to any conflict but to lead us away from any conflict by increasing the pressure for a peaceful settlement of these disputes," he stated.
Foreign ministers of the European Union reached an agreement on Monday to impose sanctions on Iran's oil imports and freeze the assets of the Central Bank of Iran within the EU.
The EU has also imposed a ban on the sale of diamonds, gold, and other precious metals to Iran.
Tehran has warned that the embargo will have negative consequences, such as an increase in oil prices.