In a speech in London to nearly all of Britain's ambassadors, Prime Minister Tony Blair said Tuesday that the world cannot afford to ignore terrorist organizations and rogue states.
Mr. Blair told the ambassadors that while Britain does not agree with the United States on every single issue, when it comes to the threat of terrorism, London must stand firmly with Washington.
And specifically in reference to Iraq, Mr. Blair said Saddam Hussein must be disarmed one way or another, or there will be a price to pay. "Unless the world takes a stand on this issue of weapons of mass destruction and sends out a clear signal, then I believe that we will rue the consequences of our weakness at a later time," Mr. Blair said.
Mr. Blair told the diplomats he hoped it would not be necessary to go to war against Iraq, but he said that if it is, he wants other countries to give their support to the United States. "America should not be forced to take this issue on alone. We should all be part of it. Of course it should go through the United Nations. That was our wish and what the United States did. But if the will of the U.N. is breached then the will should be enforced," he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon announced in the House of Commons the call up of 1,500 army reservists, with more to follow.