LONDON, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- British Foreign Secretary William Hague warned that Iran's pursuit of nuclear arms could trigger a "new Cold War."
Hague also said that if Iran develops nuclear weapons, other countries in the Middle East would scramble to do the same, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.
"It is a crisis coming down the tracks," he said. "Because they are clearly continuing their nuclear weapons program … If they obtain nuclear weapons capability, then I think other nations across the Middle East will want to develop nuclear weapons.
"And so, the most serious round of nuclear proliferation since nuclear weapons were invented would have begun with all the destabilizing effects in the Middle East. And the threat of a new cold war in the Middle East without necessarily all the safety mechanisms … That would be a disaster in world affairs," Hague said.
Hague added that "all options must remain on the table" when confronting the Iranian regime, despite concerns that the United Kingdom could be brought into military conflict.
"We are very clear to all concerned that we are not advocating military action," he said. "We support a twin-track strategy of sanctions and pressure and negotiations on the other hand."
"We are not favoring the idea of anybody attacking Iran at the moment," he added.