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17 Jun, 2019 13:43

Iran blame game: UK govt slams Corbyn as unpatriotic over Gulf attacks but EU also urges caution

Iran blame game: UK govt slams Corbyn as unpatriotic over Gulf attacks but EU also urges caution

UK ministers including the foreign secretary have been quick to ridicule Jeremy Corbyn’s call for caution over blaming Iran for two attacks on Gulf tankers last week. The problem is the EU supports the Labour leader’s stance.

In the aftermath of Thursday’s attack, Corbyn took to social media to warn that the UK government’s rhetoric concerning the issue would “only increase the threat of war.” He suggested that they should be working to “ease tensions in the Gulf” and called for “credible evidence” to be put forward before entering into the blame game.

Also on rt.com Who needs proof? Britain believes US claims on Iran because ‘they’re our closest ally’

A viewpoint that riled Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who branded the Labour leader “pathetic and predictable,” and asked why Corbyn can never back “British allies” [the US] or “British intelligence.”

Home Secretary Sajid Javid also waded in on Twitter, claiming Corbyn was “never on the side of the country he seeks to lead,” preferring to side with those that ‘threaten Britain’s national security’.

Painted as some kind of extremist by the UK government, Corbyn has found solidarity from EU nations and the UN secretary-general on this highly contentious issue. Ironically, Britain has been left isolated in their full backing of the US narrative, one that explicitly blames Iran for the events in the Gulf of Oman.

EU stance

Nathalie Tocci, a senior adviser to the European foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, said, “Before we blame someone, we need credible evidence.”

Ulrike Demmer, a spokeswoman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, told reporters in Berlin on Friday that a “spiral of escalation” must be avoided.

The United Nations

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an independent investigation. He told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York on Friday: “It’s very important to know the truth (and) that responsibilities are clarified. Obviously that can only be done if there is an independent entity that verifies those facts.”

The UK Foreign Office released a statement on Friday saying “it is almost certain that a branch of the Iranian military,” the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, was behind the attack.

In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated that Washington believes it was “unmistakable” that Iran was responsible for the attacks. Tehran has denied the US allegations, branding them “ridiculous” and “dangerous.”

Also on rt.com UN chief says independent probe needed after Gulf of Oman oil tanker attacks

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