Boris Johnson summons security chiefs with UK troops on high alert for Iran ...

Boris Johnson has been desperately trying to ease tensions in the wake of the dramatic US strike that killed general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on Friday

Boris Johnson has been desperately trying to ease tensions in the wake of the dramatic US strike that killed general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on Friday

Britons are on high alert for revenge attacks from Iran today - with Boris Johnson holding crisis talks with ministers and claims evacuation plans are in place for personnel in the region.

The PM has been desperately trying to ease tensions in the wake of the dramatic US strike that killed general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on Friday.

Tehran has threatened to make UK forces 'collateral damage' in reprisals against Donald , as the crisis threatens to spiral.  

The combustible situation is top of the agenda for Cabinet this morning, and Mr Johnson will take stock with security chiefs later.

But the premier, who returned from a Caribbean holiday on Sunday, is facing criticism that he was 'caught short' by the US president's actions and the government response has been too slow. 

There are claims the Ministry of Defence is stepping up contingency plans to evacuate military and civilian personnel from neighbouring Iraq - where the Parliament has been demanding the expulsion of foreign forces.

The Times reported that a team of around 20 senior military planners and liaison officers had been dispatched to the embassy in Baghdad over the weekend.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace is due to update MPs in the Commons later, as they return from the Christmas break. 

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab spoke to his Iranian counterpart Mohammed Javad Zarif yesterday to stress the need for a diplomatic resolution to avoid a renewed conflict in the region.

Tehran has vowed 'severe revenge' for the killing of its top military commander Soleimani in a US drone strike last week.

Huge crowds have been gathering on the streets of Iran as the funeral of Soleimani takes place. His body is being buried in his home town. 

Mr in turn has warned the US is ready to strike back in a 'disproportionate' manner if the Iranians hit US targets.

The Prime Minister has faced criticism he was slow to respond to the crisis - only returning to the UK at the weekend following his new year break on the private Caribbean island of Mustique.

Soleimani's death has galvanized Iranians around revenge for the 'martyr'; Hundreds of thousands crowded into Tehran streets to see his coffin on Monday

Soleimani's death has galvanized Iranians around revenge for the 'martyr'; Hundreds of thousands crowded into Tehran streets to see his coffin on Monday

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab

Ben Wallace

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (left) and Ben Wallace (right) have been playing key roles in the response to the Iran crisis

The former national security adviser Lord Ricketts said that ministers should have been quicker to react to the escalation.

'I think that the British Government were caught short by this,' he told BBC2's Newsnight.

'People were still on holiday, and there wasn't sufficient early recognition at the top level that this is a serious

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