Dominic Raab 'urges finding path to peaceful solution' in the Middle East as he ...

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urged the US and Iran to find a peaceful solution to heightened tensions when he met his American counterpart Mike Pompeo in Washington, diplomatic sources said last night. 

Mr Raab and Secretary of State Mr Pompeo met in Washington after a week of drama in the Middle East sparked by President Donald 's assassination of key Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. 

Sources said Mr Raab echoed Boris Johnson's sentiments, after the Prime Minister told Mr in a phonecall that 'urgent de-escalation to avoid further conflict' was needed. 

Foreign Secretary Mr Raab, left, met Secretary of State Mr Pompeo at the White House in Washington after a tense week in the Middle East

Foreign Secretary Mr Raab, left, met Secretary of State Mr Pompeo at the White House in Washington after a tense week in the Middle East

Mr Raab was expected to use the meeting to stress there is still a path to a peaceful solution if all sides are willing to engage in meaningful talks, sources said.

And he was expected to reiterate that while the UK sees eye-to-eye with the US on the need to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and for Tehran to end 'nefarious behaviour' in the region, further escalation is in no-one's interests.

Earlier Mr Raab condemned Iran's missile attacks on two military bases in Iraq containing US and British troops, which took place on Tuesday in response to Gen Soleimani's killing.

He called the strikes on camps in Erbil in northern Iraq and 200 miles south at the Ain al-Asad airbase 'reckless' and 'dangerous', adding: 'A war in the Middle East would only benefit terrorist groups.'

He also caused confusion by voicing concern at 'reports of casualties' - although the UK, US and Iraq have all said they did not suffer casualties. 

Government sources suggested he had been referring to the possibility of local injuries.   

The US says Soleimani was plotting terrorist attacks and it acted in self-defence.

The Iranian action appears to have been carefully calibrated to satisfy the anger of hardliners, while minimising the chances of the situation spiralling out of control. Mr had threatened a 'disproportionate' response if any US personnel were killed in retribution. 

In his statement yesterday morning, Mr Raab said: 'We condemn this attack on Iraqi military bases hosting Coalition - including British - forces. We are concerned by reports of casualties and use of ballistic missiles. 

'We urge Iran not to repeat these reckless and dangerous attacks, and instead to pursue urgent de-escalation. A war in the Middle East would only benefit Daesh and other terrorist groups.' 

On the same path: Mr Raab was expected to tell Mr Pompeo the UK sees eye-to-eye with the US on the need to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons

On the same path: Mr Raab was expected to tell Mr Pompeo the UK sees eye-to-eye with the US on the need to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons

Multiple rockets were launched by Iran at Al-Asad airbase in Iraq (pictured)_ that is home to US and coalition forces, including British troops

Multiple rockets were launched by Iran at Al-Asad airbase in Iraq (pictured)_ that is home to US and coalition forces, including British troops

Residents inspect a crater caused by an Iranian missile strike on the outskirts of Duhok, Iraq

Residents inspect a crater caused by an Iranian missile strike on the outskirts of Duhok, Iraq

Some Iranians celebrated in the streets last night as news of the missile attacks emerged

Some Iranians celebrated in the streets last night as news of the missile attacks emerged

Paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces and local tribal militias participate in the military operations of the Iraqi army Seventh Brigade near the Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar, Iraq

Paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces and local tribal militias participate in the military operations of the Iraqi army Seventh Brigade near the Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar, Iraq

Iran fired 'more than a dozen' ballistic missiles last night against two airbases in Iraq where US and coalition forces, including British troops, are based.  

But Tom Tugendhat, the Tory MP who chaired the defence committee during the last parliament, voiced relief that the reprisals appeared to have been limited.

He said the Iran attack on US military bases in Iraq was 'not hugely surprising', and it would be 'extremely welcome' if both sides could now 'get back to talking'. 

PM surfaces to be quizzed by MPs for the first time since the Iran crisis kicked off 

Boris Johnson finally surfaced to be grilled on the Iran crisis today - five days after the drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani.

Mr Johnson took PMQs in the Commons - the first time he has been seen in public since returning from his Caribbean holiday on Sunday.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace was sent to update MPs on the situation last night,

And Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been doing most media appearances on the issue since the weekend. 

There have been claims the government was 'caught short' by the developments over the festive period. 

But No10 has insisted Mr Johnson has been working with other leaders behind the scenes to defuse the crisis. 

Mr Tugendhat told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'As far as I'm aware, it is the first time Iranian ballistic missiles have been fired

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