Jan 8, 2021
ARGENTINA warned that it may take action after leaked documents revealed that Britain shipped 31 nuclear weapons to the Falklands during the 1982 conflict.
According to a report by investigative website Declassified UK, the warheads were shipped across the Atlantic by HMS Hermes which carried 18 of the weapons, HMS Invincible which transported 12 with another on a ship of the Royal Fleet named Regent.
The deadly shipment caused concern for the Ministry of Defence, according to newly declassified documents. It feared that the bombs could be lost or damaged with the secret operation made public.
“The international repercussions of such an incident could be very damaging,” an MoD report said at the time.
Deployment of the deadly weapons also triggered a row between the MoD and the Foreign Office which asked the military to “unship” the nuclear warheads — the Navy refused.
A nuclear-free zone had been declared in Latin America under the 1967 Treaty of Tlatelolco which included the waters surrounding the Falkland Islands.
Britain was a signatory to the treaty although Argentina had not ratified it at the time of the conflict.
Argentina’s foreign ministry said that it was seeking action and assurances from Britain, warning of the seriousness of the accusations made in the Declassified UK report.
Spokesman Guillermo Carmona said that he was dismayed by the latest revelation, which comes after the British government’s 2003 admission that its ships carried nuclear weapons during the Falklands War.
“Forty years after the Malvinas War we continue to be concerned …abut the presence of nuclear weapons,” he said, adding that the latest developments “give greater seriousness to the facts.”
In a statement, the Argentinian foreign ministry said that “due to the magnitude and circumstances that have been revealed” it would be raising concerns with the British government and “the competent international organisations.”
The MoD was contacted for comment.
Published at morningstaronline.co.uk
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