Sitrep: The Iran Crisis And Future UK-US Relations

As the plot thickens in the Persian Gulf, experts dive into the potential diplomatic fallout.

This week, the BFBS Sitrep podcast has focused its award-winning analysis on the Iran crisis. 

After the US assassination of General Qassem Soleimani and Iranian retaliation, experts have tackled the likelihood of a diplomatic crisis - involving the UK and its strongest ally.

Karin von Hippel, Director-General of the Royal United Services Institute, stressed that the recent line held by the US is not indicative of a changing relationship with allies, including the UK. 

"If Trump were no longer there it would swing back to normal," she said.

Listen to Karin von Hippel discuss UK commitment to US foreign policy on this week's episode of Sitrep.

"This is not the new way of doing things... I think the US knows that the world is more complicated."

She added that the US "is not the only superpower anymore", and needs "all the help it can get" from allies.

Mr Trump has called on reluctant international partners to join the US in a move away from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Michael Stathis, Professor of Political Science at Southern Utah University, believes that killing of General Soleimani is unlikely to achieve the Western goal of agreed denuclearisation in Iran - adding that "we’re on the verge of something very terrible".

Mary Dejevsky, a foreign correspondent for The Independent, remained positive about salvaging the pact, in light of a 20-minute phone call between UK and Iranian leaders - detailed by a Downing Street spokesperson. 

"Boris Johnson is good at communicating," Ms Dejevsky said - praising smart diplomacy from Mr Johnson as he defied the US through his support for the nuclear deal.

Christopher Lee refused to condemn the US decision not to inform the UK and others of plans to target the Iranian General. 

"That would of leaked out within the second and could of fouled up the operation," he said. 

Mr Lee explored the likelihood of a new relationship between the US and its allies, moving from an alliance to an association.


Listen to the BFBS Sitrep Podcast

You can hear the programme live on Thursdays on BFBS Radio 2 at 16:30 (UK time) and at 18:30 (UK time) BFBS via DAB+ across the UK. 

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Cover image: MOD.