British officers took part in a mock invasion of Iran alongside U.S. troops, the Guardian reported on Saturday.
Codenamed Hotspur 2004, the exercise took place in July 2004 at a military base in Virginia.
The paper said a British Defense Ministry official tried to play down the report saying, “These paper-based exercises are designed to test officers to the limit in fictitious scenarios. We use invented countries and situations using real maps.”
The target of the simulated attack was a Middle Eastern country codenamed Korona, which border corresponded with that of Iran and the characteristics of the enemy were Iranian. The date of the invasion was set for 2015, the Guardian said.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has said military action against Iran is inconceivable, stressing that his country will seek diplomatic means to solve the crisis over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
The newspaper quoted a British Foreign Office official saying, "The foreign secretary has made his position very clear that military action is inconceivable. The Foreign Office regards speculation about war, particularly involving Britain, as unhelpful at a time when the diplomatic route is still being pursued."
Is Iran buying Russian weapons from Belarus?
Meanwhile, the Janes Magazine for military affairs reported that Belarus is preparing to sell Russian military technology to Iran. Minsk is purchasing the latest version of the S-300SP surface-to-air missile system from Russia, but the technology could end up in Tehran, the magazine reported.
The magazine reported that a high-level delegation of Iranian military and political officials paid a low-key visit to Belarus in January.
A well-informed source told Jane’s that Russia is selling Iran S-300SP missiles through Belarus to stave off western criticism of the Kremlin, which has been condemned for supplying the Islamic Republic with nuclear technology.
Iran is seeking the missiles in preparation for a possible American or Israeli strike to derail its nuclear program.