UK defence secretary Ben Wallace came up with a statement in the Parliament amid the tensions between the Iran and US saying that the UK has taken urgent measures to protect British national and other interests, including shipping. He announced that the UK forces are 'on standby' in the Middle East amid escalating tensions. His comments come in the wake of the US killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Iraq on January 3. Wallace said the government has taken urgent measures to safeguard British nationals and interests in the Gulf following the killing of General Qassim Soleimani in a US drone strike.
PARLIAMENT ON IRAN & BREXIT: UK Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace is making a statement on Iran in Parliament. Today, MPs will begin 3 days of debate on Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill— NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 7, 2020
He added that it is the duty of the US to explain if its decision was "illegal or not" but said it was "clear there was a case for self-defence". The statement revealed that the UK forces in the region and ships were ready to help in the crisis if required. Some non-essential personnel had been moved out of Baghdad to Camp Taji, a military base situated 17 miles north of the Iraqi capital which works as the current base for around 400 members of the Irish Guards.
In the chamber for the Defence Secretary’s statement on the Middle East. He’s absolutely right to say further conflict is in no one’s interest and UK Government is working hard to de-escalate #Iran— Fay Jones MP (@JonesyFay) January 7, 2020
Wallace further told the MPs as a part of safety measure, a small team has been sent to the region to provide assistance. The Ministry of Defence said that all British personnel in Iraq had been accounted for and there were no British casualties after the missile attacks. A government spokesperson said that their first and foremost priority should be to protect British personnel stationed in the region. Wallace added that he was not going to rule out anything and further added that if British citizens or armed service personnel were killed by Iranian offence, the UK will leave no chance to teach Iran a lesson.