Britain Mulls Buildup in Middle East, Citing Iran

As Cameron Moves to Sell Arms, Officials Talk Up Regional Interests

by Jason Ditz, November 05, 2012

British officials quoted in the Daily Telegraph say that the British government is considering a considerable build-up in their military presence in the Persian Gulf region with an eye toward the “threat” they perceive from Iran.

Whether the comments represent a serious interest in such a deployment or not is unclear, as Prime Minister David Cameron is in the region trying to sell weapons right now, and British officials may simply be trying to prove a “interest” in the region.

Indeed, in comments today Cameron sought to defend the sales of weaponry to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, insisting that the warplanes and such are “completely legitimate” instruments of self-defense and that he is simply trying to promote UK businesses.

The British premier’s visits and the pre-tour goal of moving 100 British Typhoon warplanes suggest the visit is mostly about money, and while Cameron insisted his government will not shy away from criticizing the nations he is selling weapons to on human rights violations, his comments appear to have begun and ended with that claim, and then it was back to sealing the deal.

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