Byline: By Jonathan Walker Political Editor
Britain may be considering future military strikes against nations such as Iran, according to an expert on the Middle East and counter-terrorism. Rob Johnson, a lecturer in history and counterterrorism at the University of Warwick, said Prime Minister Tony Blair's major foreign policy speech yesterday suggested further military action was a possibility.
Mr Blair insisted Britain must be prepared to go to war to fight terrorism and failed states.
It would be a "catastrophe" if opposition he had faced over the war in Iraq meant future British leaders were unwilling to use military action, Mr Blair added.
Speaking on board the Royal Navy amphibious assault ship HMS Albion, the Prime Minister described Islamist terrorism as "a worldwide movement" which will take a generation to defeat.
Dr Johnson, a former infantry officer who served in Belfast, said: "One could see this speech as preparing the way for future actions against a country like Iran.
"Margaret That cher famously told the first President Bush 'don't go wobbly on us now, George', after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.
"In a sense, this was Tony Blair saying the same thing to the British people."
The speech prompted an angry reaction from his critics. Birmingham MP Clare Short (Ladywood), the former International Development Secretary who quit the Labour Party whip to sit as an independent, described the Prime Minister as "delusional".
She said: "His role has made the world much more dangerous, much more divided, diminished international law, diminished the prospects of the world cooperating in international humanitarian interventions. …