UK report agrees: Attack on Iran could harm world

A military attack on Iran could unleash disastrous consequences for the Middle East and the wider world, a coalition of unions, faith groups and think tanks warned in a report released Monday. The document, "Time to Talk," said a military strike, which many believe is being planned by the United States, could further destabilize neighboring Iraq, undermine hopes for Israeli-Palestinian peace and embolden hard-liners in Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government. It said an attack on oil-rich Iran could also drive up fuel prices, harming economies around the world. "The possible consequences of military action could be so serious that governments have a responsibility to ensure that all diplomatic options have been exhausted," the report said. "At present, this is not the case." The report was compiled by 17 groups, including the Amicus and GMB trade unions, aid agency Oxfam, the Muslim Council of Britain and the Foreign Policy Centre, a left-leaning think tank. Among the document's backers is Sir Richard Dalton, British ambassador to Iran between 2002 and 2006.