The leader of the UK opposition challenged the government’s claim that is had ‘credible evidence’ pointing to Iran’s involvement in the explosions that took place in the Gulf.
The leader of the opposition in the UK, Jeremy Corbyn, has been accused of being a threat to national security for questioning the US narrative on Iran.
As the US seeks to up the ante on Iran, it has sought to rally international support towards its hardening position. The attack on two oil tankers last week has been blamed on the Islamic Republic by the US, however, the Trump administration has offered no evidence to back its claim.
The Conservative Party is in the midst of an election campaign to replace Theresa May as prime minister and all the front runners have attacked Corbyn for seeking further proof on the last attack in the Gulf region.
Corbyn has challenged the UK government’s claim that it had ‘credible evidence’ that Iran was behind the attack on two oil tankers last week.
“Britain should act to ease tensions in the Gulf, not fuel a military escalation that began with US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement,” said Corbyn.
Britain should act to ease tensions in the Gulf, not fuel a military escalation that began with US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement. Without credible evidence about the tanker attacks, the government’s rhetoric will only increase the threat of war.— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) June 14, 2019
Corbyn’s response was immediately attacked by the British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, labelling it as “pathetic”.
Hunt, went on to say: “Why can he never bring himself to back British allies, British intelligence or British interests?”
The suggestion that asking for evidence on an issue that has global consequences is somehow tantamount to betraying your country has been levelled against Corbyn often.
Pathetic and predictable. From Salisbury to the Middle East, why can he never bring himself to back British allies, British intelligence or British interests? https://t.co/8JyGz7T4Yx— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) June 15, 2019
Another Conservative leadership contender, Michael Gove, said: “Jeremy Corbyn’s comments on Iran show once again he is not fit to be trusted with our national security.”
However, many British people are not impressed by the drumbeat for a war that is being touted by future leadership contenders.
Labour Party member Alex Charlton tweeted: “It’s incredibly telling that Jeremy Corbyn is calling for clear evidence before taking sides and Conservatives, instead of providing that evidence are accusing him of siding with ‘the enemy’.”
It’s incredibly telling that Jeremy Corbyn is calling for clear evidence before taking sides and Conservatives, instead of providing that evidence are accusing him of siding with “the enemy”. Anyone who would leap into war without good reason is #NotFitToLead— Alex Charlton 🌹 (@AlexJCharlton) June 15, 2019
Even the former chairman of the Conservative Party Baroness Sayeeda Warsi warned future leadership contenders about following the US in another rush to war.
Be careful be very careful @Jeremy_Hunt— Sayeeda Warsi (@SayeedaWarsi) June 15, 2019
I condemn attacks on vessels. But we all know #Trump has been gunning for a fight with #Iran from the moment he took office
We rightly did not renege on the nuclear deal as #Trunp did and we must not blindly follow him into a war.#US #UK https://t.co/uAgEuN1m0w
While an online media watchdog took aim at the British state broadcaster the BBC for changing its otherwise reasonable headline to reflect the government’s take on Corbyn’s statement.
The BBC's reasonable headline:— Media Lens (@medialens) June 15, 2019
'Corbyn challenges UK Iran accusations'
becomes the smeary, propagandistic:
'Jeremy Hunt brands Labour leader "pathetic" over Iran comments'https://t.co/En5iuFKWo5 https://t.co/AW57l3k1Ba
Many countries are wary that the US’s rush to war could have disastrous consequences for the region and beyond, and given hindsight with regards to Iraq, more than a little doubtful of US claims.
Corbyn joins a chorus of voices in Europe that is seeking to calm tensions.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said “the video is not enough”, referring to the footage being used by the US to purportedly show an Iranian vessel approaching the bombed oil tanker.
Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the “facts must be established” before there is a rush to judgment and the EU Foreign Ministry has said, “before we blame someone we need credible evidence”.