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Blair Warns Iran Against Committing &#34A Grave Mistake&#34 - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat- British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned Iran would be committing “a grave mistake if it believed the international community lacked the resolve to ensure it abided by international agreements” and strongly advised Tehran to “stop support of terrorism” at his monthly press conference on Tuesday.

Speaking at 10 Downing Street, Blair said, “It is impossible to wait for a terrorist attack to happen to respond to it” in an attempt to convince the public to accept the newly proposed terror laws.

Britain was following Iran’s nuclear program in cooperation with France and Germany and Tehran had “live up to its international obligations”, Blair said, adding, “we will continue the pressure.”

The Prime minister also indicated he met Saudi Arabia’s outgoing ambassador to the United Kingdom, Prince Turki al Faisal on Monday “to express my best wishes for success in his new post”, as the Kingdom’s representative in Washington D.C.

He said, “Our countries enjoy strong relations and cooperate on a number of issues, especially the fight against terrorism.”

On the UN probe into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the expected report by German investigator Detlev Mehlis, Blair said, “We have to wait for the report. I expect Syria to take appropriate action”

The draft anti terror laws featured heavily in the press conference with Blair indicating that “protecting innocent civilians and law abiding citizens was our priority”.

In conjunction with Home Secretary Charles Clarke, Blair is trying to modify anti terror laws to include new powers to the police so it can terrorist suspects for 90 days, without having to charge them or prosecute them.

Blair said on Tuesday the proposed draft “protects suspects as it stipulates that their detention will be supervised by a judge every seven days through out their detention.” He added that it was important to strike a “balance between protecting innocent civilians and respecting the rights of suspects.”

He announced that current laws were “complicated and did not adequately address new crimes such as international terrorism and organized crime.” He said that it was possible to add new groups, in the coming days, to a list of “terrorist organizations” banned in Britain that was announced by Clarke on Monday.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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