File photo shows a US military base on Diego Garcia Island.
British officials have reportedly rejected a request made by the United States to use its military bases in the UK as staging grounds for a possible attack on Iran.
According to The Guardian
, the British government spurned the request citing advice from the attorney general’s office that such an attack could violate international law.
"The UK would be in breach of international law if it facilitated what amounted to a preemptive strike on Iran," a senior Whitehall source toldThe Guardian
"It is explicit. The government has been using this to push back against the Americans," the source added.
The report also said that US diplomats have lobbied for the use of British bases in Cyprus, and for permission to fly from US bases on Ascension Island in the Atlantic Ocean and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, both of which are British territories.
The United States, Israel and some of their allies accuse Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program with Tel Aviv recently stepping up its threats against the Islamic Republic.
Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of International Atomic Energy Agency it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Iranian officials have repeatedly said that Iran will never initiate a war but will give a crushing response to any military strike against the country, warning that any such measure could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.