Iran has threatened British and European troops in the Middle East, warning, “Today, the American soldier is in danger, tomorrow the European soldier could be in danger.”
The Daily Telegraph reports that Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president, made the threat at a cabinet meeting a day after Britain, France, and Germany moved to take a harder line against Iran’s escalating violations of the nuclear deal.
The three countries jointly triggered the Iran Deal “dispute resolution mechanism” – a major step that could see the end of the disastrous nuclear deal if grievances are not resolved.
Iran had already said it would target US troops in the region in retaliation for the killing of General Qassim Soleimani but Mr Rouhani’s comments mark the first time Iran has threatened European troops.
Britain has around 400 troops in Iraq and around 1,000 in Afghanistan as well as others deployed across the region.
Meanwhile, Rob Macaire, the UK ambassador in Tehran, has left the country for the first time since his arrest last week. UK officials said it was a pre-planned trip to London and that he would return to his post in Tehran.
Tensions between London and Tehran escalated at the weekend when the British ambassador to Iran was arrested on Saturday and later released over allegations that he was involved with the anti-regime protests that broke out in Iran’s capital. Then on Sunday, around 200 pro-regime protesters, understood to be radical Basij Mullahs (militia affiliated with the IRGC) surrounded the UK embassy in Tehran chanting “Death to Britain” and burning British and Israeli flags.
Protests outside the UK embassy continued on Monday where a cardboard cutout of the ambassador was set alight.
Over 11,000 people have signed a CUFI UK petition calling on the British government to withdraw from the Iran deal.