• By The Financial District

MI6 Spy Chief Tags China, Russia And Iran As Top Threats To UK

China, Russia and Iran pose three of the biggest threats to the UK in a fast-changing, unstable world, the head of Britain’s foreign intelligence agency said Tuesday, Jill Lawless reported for the Associated Press (AP).


Photo Insert: The MI6 Building, Headquarters of the British Secret Intelligence Service in London



MI6 chief Richard Moore said the three countries and international terrorism make up the “big four” security issues confronting Britain’s spies.


In his first public speech since becoming head of the Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6, in October 2020, Moore said China is the intelligence agency’s “single greatest priority” as the country’s leadership increasingly backs “bold and decisive action” to further its interests.



Calling China “an authoritarian state with different values than ours,” he said Beijing conducts “large-scale espionage operations” against the UK and its allies, tries to ”distort public discourse and political decision-making” and exports technology that enables a “web of authoritarian control” around the world.


Moore said the UK also continues “to face an acute threat from Russia.” He said Moscow has sponsored killing attempts, such as the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in England in 2018, mounts cyberattacks and attempts to interfere in other countries’ democratic processes.


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“We and our allies and partners must stand up to and deter Russian activity which contravenes the international rules-based system,” the MI6 chief said.


Moore said Iran also poses a major threat and uses the political and militant group Hezbollah — “a state within a state” — to fuel political turmoil in neighboring countries.


Government & politics: Politicians, government officials and delegates standing in front of their country flags in a political event in the financial district.

He argued that Britain’s spies must give up some of their deep-rooted secrecy and seek help from technology firms to win a cybersecurity arms race that is giving hostile countries and groups ever more capacity.



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