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U.S. base on Diego Garcia, part of the British Ocean Indian Territory

Report: UK denies US access to bases for Gulf buildup

By Jeremy Herb, The Hill

The British government rejected U.S. requests to use military bases in the United Kingdom as part of a build-up in the Gulf, citing legal concerns that a pre-emptive strike on Iran would violate international law, The Guardian reported.

Citing unnamed U.K. officials, the Guardian reported that the United States has made informal requests for access to British bases in Cypress and British territories in the Atlantic and Indian oceans as part of contingency planning for Iran.

But British ministers have responded with legal advice from the U.K. attorney general’s office that says Iran does not currently represent “a clear and present danger.”

As a result, providing assistance to U.S. forces potentially involved in a strike on Iran would violate international law, according to the Guardian.

“The UK would be in breach of international law if it facilitated what amounted to a pre-emptive strike on Iran,” said a British defense official. “It is explicit. The government has been using this to push back against the Americans.”

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