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05/17/08

UK must oppose US threats to Iran, says Scottish church

London, May 17, IRNA - Delegates at the Church of Scotland's general assembly are being urged to support a resolution, calling on Britain and the United States to preserve peace in the Middle East and to take no further action that could a military conflict with Iran.

The call comes as Prime Minister Gordon Brown, whose father was a an ordained Scottish church minister, was due to speak at the annual assembly in Edinburgh Saturday.

"We will strongly urge the British government to do everything in its power to discourage the American government from undertaking any form of military strike against Iran," said Morag Mylne, convenor of the Church and Society Council (CSC) of the Scottish church.

"And if the Americans ignore that advice, then Britain must make clear its strong opposition for such a move, either by the USA as a strike or by Israel as a pre-emptive move against Iran," Myline told Ecumenical News International.

The call comes as the church is due to debate a motion during its seven-day assembly, which accuses the British government of being guilty of "gross hypocrisy" by renewing the country's Trident nuclear weapons system while pressing Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment.

CSC secretary David Sinclair said the resolution was both "controversial and timely" as in the past the assembly had raised such issues as Iraq, Israel and Palestine.

"This year it will be the turn of Iran, one of the most important and powerful countries in the Middle East," said Sinclair, whose council is one of the church's six policy-making bodies.

Both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which the church opposed, are said to have a special significance in Scotland as more Scottish troops are involved in combat operations than at any time since the Second World War.

While Scots make up about 10 percent of the personnel in the British Army and 8 percent of Britain's population, Scottish troops have sustained 16 percent of the combat fatalities, according to defence ministry figures cited by the Glasgow Herald.

The CSC is presenting a report the the assembly, which ends on May 21, appealing to the British Government to make its opposition to the possible development of Iranian nuclear weapons "credible" by scrapping the nuclear weapons held by the UK.

"This failure to address their own plans for nuclear weapons expansion means that the UK and US governments are in a weak position to deal with Iran," it warns.

Its motion also appeals to the UK government to do "all in its power" to end threats of military adventurism against Iran, saying solutions could prove worse than the original problem in terms of regional instability and loss of life in the Middle East.

... Payvand News - 05/17/08 ... --



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