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Carmichael: UK Government must fully address Iran attack

Alistair Carmichael MP

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has criticised the UK Government’s response to the US assassination of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and demanded a comprehensive response to the growing crisis.

The killing of Mr Soleimani by a US airstrike in Iraq last Friday has led to rapidly escalating tensions and exchanges of threats by the two countries, while Iraqi MPs have held a non-binding vote to expel foreign troops, including from the UK.

Mr Carmichael said: “It is hard to see what President Trump seeks to achieve by this assassination. That is not to condone Soleimani’s past actions or, for that matter, the actions of the Iranian Government.

“Far from preventing future terrorist attacks, it seems likely to embolden the most reactionary voices in Iran, undermine moderates and drive away potential allies. By acting outside of international law, Donald Trump loses any moral authority in demanding that others should do so. The UK response to this has been muted and by failing to condemn we risk being seen to support it.

“Threats by President Trump to non-military cultural heritage sites and boastful assertions about a disproportionate response are reckless.”

He continued: “The first duty of any government is to keep its people safe.  We do that best by supporting the rule of law. The United Kingdom has long enjoyed a special relationship with the United States but that relationship is only worth anything if it keeps us safe and not if it exposes our citizens to further risk.  Actions like these make our country less safe.”

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