UK plans to boost military presence in Gulf to counter Iran nuke threat
The British Government plans to build up its military presence in the Gulf to counter the growing threat from Iran after troops' exit from Afghanistan, it has emerged.
Government sources said the plans which could see Britain's presence in the UAE boosted were part of a strategy set out in the strategic defence review to have a "flexible network of allies to deal with different threats".
According to the Telegraph, the UK is evaluating whether to beef up a force of around 70 servicemen and women currently stationed in the UAE to service jets flying between the UK and Afghanistan.
The Royal Air Force is currently running a twice-yearly advanced training leadership course from the base in the UAE, involving four Typhoon or Tornado jets and an additional 100 servicemen and women, the paper said.
The paper quoted a source, as saying that 'as our plans for operational drawdown we have to look at the routes we use. No decisions have been taken but it makes sense to have a strategic ally.'
Britain was looking to do some "significant co-operation" with the Emiratis, the source added, because it was looking at developing links with a non-NATO ally.
According to the paper, the news comes as UK Prime Minister David Cameron, on a three day visit to the Gulf region to push sales of Typhoon jets, said his country 'would do everything to stop Iran' successfully developing nuclear weapons.