Cameron: Iran Has a Nuclear Weapon; PM Branded a 'Klutz' after Latest Foreign Policy Gaffe

Daily Mail (London), August 6, 2010 | Go to article overview

Cameron: Iran Has a Nuclear Weapon; PM Branded a 'Klutz' after Latest Foreign Policy Gaffe


Byline: Gerri Peev Political Correspondent

DAVID CAMERON was facing damaging questions over his diplomatic style and judgment last night after making a throwaway claim that Iran had nuclear weapons.

The PM was branded a foreign policy 'klutz' after the gaffe, made during a public meeting which was screened on live television.

Downing Street quickly tried to dismiss his remark as a mistake. Officials said Britain continues to believe that the Tehran regime is trying to develop a nuclear bomb but has not yet done so.

But the error, which risks setting off conspiracy theories in the Middle East, raised fresh questions about the Prime Minister's judgment in making off-the-cuff statements on highly sensitive foreign policy issues.

The gaffe came only days after Mr Cameron ignited a diplomatic row with Pakistan, while on a visit to its bitter rival India, by suggesting the country was 'exporting terror'.

The previous day he had caused anger in Israel by likening the blockaded Gaza Strip to a 'prison camp'.

Former Foreign Office Minister Chris Bryant said Mr Cameron's remarks were 'a dangerous habit'.

'Considering Iran's nuclear ambitions constitute one of the most important foreign policy challenges facing us all, it is not just downright embarrassing that the Prime Minister has made this basic mistake, it's dangerous,' Mr Bryant said. 'The Prime Minister's comments are profoundly unhelpful. 'They will fuel Iranian propaganda that the international community is mistaken over Iran's nuclear policy.' Mr Bryant added: 'He is increasingly getting a reputation for being a foreign policy klutz, with two right feet, both of them firmly planted in his mouth. …

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