The Middle East could be the battleground for a new cold war , if Iran succeeds in acquiring nuclear weapons, Britain's foreign secretary has warned. William Hague said the world would face the most serious round of nuclear proliferation since the invention of the atomic bomb, which would be a "disaster in world affairs". Hague 's comments come as officials in Washington expressed fears that Iran is ignoring economic sanctions, increasing the likelihood of Israel and or the US attacking the Islamic Republic this year. Hague insisted that the UK did not currently support military action against Iran but added "all options must remain on the table". "[The Iranians] are clearly continuing their nuclear weapons programme," Hague told the Daily Telegraph. "If they obtain nuclear weapons capability, then I think other nations across the Middle East will want to develop nuclear weapons.