Iran General NewsStraw move 'not linked to stance on Iran'

Straw move ‘not linked to stance on Iran’

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The Guardian: Britain has no intention of joining a nuclear attack on or invasion of Iran and it is absurd for the media to claim Jack Straw was sacked as foreign secretary because he ruled out military action, the prime minister said yesterday. The Guardian

Will Woodward

Britain has no intention of joining a nuclear attack on or invasion of Iran and it is absurd for the media to claim Jack Straw was sacked as foreign secretary because he ruled out military action, the prime minister said yesterday.

Tony Blair made a point of dismissing claims that Mr Straw had been demoted to leader of the house in Friday’s reshuffle because his stance on Iran was more dovish than Mr Blair’s. “Any notion that it is linked to any decision about invading Iran – which incidentally we are not going to do – any notion that it is related to such a decision is utterly absurd.” No one had “even contemplated” a nuclear strike on Iran. That would be “completely absurd”, too. Mr Straw had said it would be “inconceivable” to take military action against Iran. Mr Blair has never been that firm. Mr Blair said: “He was a superb foreign secretary … in the end I’m afraid as prime minister you do reshuffle your cabinet from time to time.”

He and Mr Straw had agreed after the last election on a transfer to leader of the house some time this parliament. That tallies with Mr Straw’s statements, although he would have preferred later. He would be taking charge of reform of the House of Lords. Foreign policy “will not change one iota” under the new foreign secretary, Margaret Beckett, Mr Blair said.

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