St Helena Online

Tag: nuclear weapons

Ascension ‘off-limits’ as US prepares for Iran nuclear crisis

America is reported to have been told it cannot use Wideawake Airfield on Ascension to prepare for military action against Iran.

News media around the world have picked up on the story, though The Independent in London reports that Downing Street has refused to be drawn on the affair.

The Guardian says US diplomats lobbied to be allowed to use its bases on Ascension and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean – both UK territories – as well as British bases in Cyprus.

It says America has been building up contingency plans for military action, in case diplomats fail to resolve a stand-off with Iran over nuclear weapons.

Ministers are reported to have told US officials that it would be illegal for Britain to help with what might lead to a pre-emptive attack.

The Guardian reports advice that it would breach international law because Iran has consistently denied it plans to develop a nuclear weapon, and so does not represent “a clear and present threat”.

Citing Whitehall sources, it says the US had not made a formal request, but discussions had been taking place “to scope out the British position”.

The paper quotes one source as saying America had been surprised to that Britain was reluctant to pledge support: “They’d expect resistance from senior Liberal Democrats, but it’s Tories as well. That has come as a bit of a surprise.”

Even so, the Royal Navy has a large presence in the Gulf.


After ten years of lies, mismanagement and never-ending wars, my suspicion is that most Americans would not support a war with Iran. Oh sure, there are some who would, but they are a minority. The trouble is, they are a rather loud (and/or unenlightened) minority. Trust me…..most of us in the US are very, very tired of war at this point. As such, the refusal to allow Ascension as a stop-over point, or base, doesn’t matter all that much, as it’s a war that likely will never happen.
Stephen Meyers, via Facebook

Iran military action not ‘right course at this time’, Downing Street says – Guardian
Action against Iran: US and UK hold talks over military bases – Independent

Close-up of hands holding bundles of blue Iranian Rial notes

Queen bans Saints from building nuclear weapons

Close-up of hands holding bundles of blue Iranian Rial notes
Don’t try laundering Iranian money through the Bank of St Helena. Picture: Celie/Flickr

The Queen has signed a new law preventing people in St Helena trading sensitive goods with Iran.

Any Saints who supply materials for making nuclear weapons, say – or lend their expertise – face up to seven years in prison.

The Iran (Restrictive Measures) (Overseas Territories) Order 2012 was passed by “The Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty in Council” at the Court at Windsor Castle on 10 July 2012.

The document says: “Her Majesty, in exercise of the powers conferred on her by Section 1 of the United Nations Act 1946 section 112 of the Saint Helena Act 1833, and the British Settlements Act 1887 and 1945,  is pleased, by and with the advice of Her Privy Council, to order as follows…”

The new law, called a Statutory Instrument, makes it illegal to supply various services or goods, including gold and diamonds, unless granted a licence by the governor.

It’s also now illegal for anyone in St Helena to launder newly-printed Iranian banknotes.

Although the law applies to all the UK’s overseas territories, it makes specific reference to Ascension, St Helena and Tristan da Cunha. Read it here… just to be on the safe side.

Iran sanctions explained – BBC News