Image ID 2KF9YH1 foreign secretary James Cleverly arrives in Downing Street 17112022 CREDIT Alamy Stock Photo MARTIN DALTON .jpg
"Britain is determined to work alongside our friends to counter the Iranian threat," said Foreign Secretary James Cleverly (Picture: Martin Dalton/ Alamy Stock Photo).
Nuclear

Iran's nuclear threat 'more advanced than ever before', UK Foreign Secretary warns

Image ID 2KF9YH1 foreign secretary James Cleverly arrives in Downing Street 17112022 CREDIT Alamy Stock Photo MARTIN DALTON .jpg
"Britain is determined to work alongside our friends to counter the Iranian threat," said Foreign Secretary James Cleverly (Picture: Martin Dalton/ Alamy Stock Photo).

The Foreign Secretary has warned that the threat from Iran's nuclear programme is "more advanced than ever before".

Addressing an international security conference in Bahrain on Saturday, James Cleverly accused the Tehran regime of spreading "bloodshed and destruction" around the world.

He warned that Iranian-supplied weapons are threatening security in the Middle East and beyond, pointing to the Iranian-made attack drones being used by Russia to target Ukraine's civilian infrastructure as an example of its influence.

The Foreign Secretary gave a speech at the Manama Dialogue in Bahrain, in which he called out Russia and Iran as threats to the security of the Middle East.

"Iranian-supplied weapons threaten the entire region," Mr Cleverly told the Manama Dialogue.

"Today, Iran's nuclear programme is more advanced than ever before, and the regime has resorted to selling Russia the armed drones that are killing civilians in Ukraine.

"As their people demonstrate against decades of oppression, Iran's rulers are spreading bloodshed and destruction as far away as Kyiv.

"Britain is determined to work alongside our friends to counter the Iranian threat, interdict the smuggling of conventional arms and prevent the regime from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability."

Mr Cleverly will travel to Qatar where he will attend England's opening World Cup match against Iran.

The encounter comes at a time of heightened tensions with the regime.

Earlier this week, the UK imposed a fresh round of sanctions on Iranian officials linked to the brutal crackdown of the protests which erupted following the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, after she was detained for allegedly failing to follow the country's Islamic dress code.

Meanwhile, the Director General of MI5, Ken McCallum, has revealed that Iranian intelligence agents have been targeting individuals in the UK who they regard as enemies of the regime.

He said the security service had identified at least 10 such potential threats since January, including "ambitions" to kidnap or even kill.