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Report: Britain to back US air strikes on Iran
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British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has agreed to support US air strikes against Iran if the Islamic country orchestrates large-scale attacks by militants against British or American forces in Iraq, a British newspaper said on Sunday.



According to The Sunday Telegraph, Brown has been informed of US plans to launch limited air and special forces raids against Revolutionary Guard bases, senior Pentagon officials was quoted as saying.


After talks with US President George W. Bush during his visit in July, Brown indicated that Britain was "on board" for a military response -- but only if Iran was proved to be behind a big militant attack or another stunt similar to the kidnapping of British sailors in March, said the report.


According to the report, the US wanted Britain's Special Air Service Regiment to take part in special forces raids inside Iran and had requested help from the Royal Navy to combat Iranian retaliation in the Gulf. But no decisions have been made.


Brown made clear to Bush that he would not support a campaign to destroy Iran's nuclear program and bring about regime change in Tehran. But Pentagon officials said he did indicate he would be prepared to back strikes in certain circumstances.


"The British understand there's a possible need to strike -- not strategic bombing of nuclear sites but facilities in Iran in support of Iraqi elements. This understanding was reached shortly after Brown took office." said Vincent Cannistraro, a former White House intelligence chief in close contact with senior Pentagon officials.


A Downing Street spokesman said, "While we won't comment on the specifics of conversations between the Prime Minister and the President of the United States, this is not a version of events we recognize."


(Xinhua News Agency October 8, 2007)

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