Prime Minister May said however that the nuclear deal with Iran and P5+1 world powers is “vital”, and that the agreement allows Britain to engage with Iran over the country’s “aggressive actions” in the region.
Addressing the plenary of the Gulf Co-operation Council, Prime Minister May told leaders: “As we address new threats to our security, so we must also continue to confront state actors whose influence fuels instability in the region. So I want to assure you that I am clear-eyed about the threat that Iran poses to the Gulf and the wider Middle East; and the UK is fully committed to our strategic partnership with the Gulf and working with you to counter that threat”.
Speaking about the deal, the Prime Minister said: “We secured a deal which has neutralised the possibility of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons for over a decade. It has already seen Iran remove 13,000 centrifuges together with associated infrastructure and eliminate its stock of 20% enriched uranium”.
She raised Iran’s aggressive activity in the region, including sending fighters including the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Qods Force to Syria. Mrs May also accused the Iranians of providing support to the Houthis in Yemen.
She underlined that the deal was “vitally important for regional security. But we must also work together to push back against Iran’s aggressive regional actions, whether in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Syria or in the Gulf itself”.
Since the signing of a formal nuclear agreement between Iran and P5+1 world powers in July 2015, Iran has increased the frequency of its ballistic missile testing, launching eight missiles in the past year.