London: Britain`s top spy on Thursday shed his
cloak to appear in public to say that intelligence operations
should be intensified to stop Iran from going nuclear.
Asserting that diplomacy was not enough to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons, MI6 chief John Sawers, making an an unprecedented first-ever public appearance, said an intelligence vigil was a must to stop Iran from nuclear
The speech by Sawyers, who heads Britain`s Secret
Intelligence Service -- better known as MI6, indicated a shift
for an organisation that until 1992 did not officially exist.
Speaking to academicians and journalists, Sawers said
that it was intelligence gathering which had led to Iran`s
admission last year of having a second nuclear plant.
"Stopping Iran`s nuclear proliferation cannot be
addressed by conventional diplomacy. We need intelligence
operations to make it more difficult for rogue countries like
Iran to develop nuclear weapons," he said.
The MI chief warned that failures in gathering
intentions of Iran could be grim for the rest of the world as
pressure had to be kept up to keep Iran away from nuclear
In his first public speech, Sawers touched on subjects
like torture, terrorism, fight against al Qaeda and combating
He said it was wrong to cite political issues like
Palestine, Kashmir or Iraq as causes for terrorism, advocating
that having a more open system of government in these regions
would help in overcoming problems if any.
The MI chief described torture as illegal and
abhorrent under any circumstances as he replied to a volley of
queries on tactics adopted by US in dealing with Guantanamo