News ID: 254331
Published: 0356 GMT June 15, 2019

UK opposition leader targeted over comments on Iran escalation

UK opposition leader targeted over comments on Iran escalation

The government and anti-Iran lawmakers in Britain’s ruling Conservative Party have targeted opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for his comments on Iran and the fact that he urged London not to rush to rush to conclusions on the case of explosions affecting two tankers in the Persian Gulf waters.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Saturday called Corbyn "pathetic" for criticizing his department after it blamed Iran for the Thursday explosions, saying that the Labour leader had expressed same remarks defending Russia when London blamed Moscow for an attack on a former double spy in the southern English city of Salisbury last year, Presstv Reported.

"Pathetic and predictable. From Salisbury to the Middle East, why can he never bring himself to back British allies, British intelligence or British interests?” said Hunt.

The comments came a day after Corbyn posted a tweet saying Britain should not blindly follow the United States in blaming Iran for tanker explosions as it could increase the risk of a major conflict in the Persian Gulf region.

“Without credible evidence about the tanker attacks, the government's rhetoric will only increase the threat of war,” Corbyn had said.

Other senior Tory figures also criticized Corbyn for the comments, claiming his judgments have always served other countries rather than Britain.

“Why is Jeremy Corbyn never on the side of the country he seeks to lead?,” said interior minister Sajid Javid, reminding that Corbyn had expressed same criticism of the government when it blacklisted Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah in February.

Dominic Raab, a former minister for Britain's withdrawal from the European Union, also accused Corbyn of being anti-American.

“Yet again Jeremy Corbyn allows his anti-American prejudice to skew his moral compass and political judgment. #notfittolead,” Raab wrote in a tweet.

The comments from the three major Conservative politicians come as they are involved in a race to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May. Hunt is second in the race far behind favorite Boris Johnson while Javid and Raab are struggling to survive until a final leadership vote between 150,000 Conservative Party members planned for late July.

However, top Labour official on foreign policy defended Corbyn’s posture on Iran’s case, saying the Tory-led government was recklessly pushing Britain into a big war.

“The idea that we are going to get enmeshed in another war is really something we need to think about very carefully,” said Emily Thornberry on Saturday, adding, "What we do not want is British forces being drawn into a conflict of that size."



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