Jeremy Corbyn said the US strike on Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was “illegal.”
By United with Israel Staff
Ousted UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn repeatedly refused to call Iranian Quds Force General Qassem Soleimani a terrorist, during an interview with UK’s Sky News, Tuesday. However, he had no problem calling “illegal” the US strike on the known terror leader.
Soleimani oversaw terror proxies throughout the Middle East and was implicated in attacks on British forces in Iraq by Shia militias supported by Iran. The U.S. State Department reported that he is responsible for terrorist operations that killed hundreds of American service members in Iraq, and more were planned.
Speaking to Sky‘s Deputy Political Editor Sam Coates, Corbyn was asked, “Do you doubt that Soleimani was engaging in terrorist acts? Do you doubt that he was not in Baghdad, as the minister said today in order to plot an assault on the West?”
He replied, “He was in Iraq, for reasons of contact, I assume, with the Iraqi government. I’ve no idea what his actual meetings were.”
Corbyn then referred to the targeted strike as an assassination “illegal under any law.” Criticizing the US, he said, “[I]f [the US] wants the world to stand by international law – [it] must stand by international law itself.”
Coates again asked, “Do you accept that Soleimani was a terrorist, somebody who commissioned terrorist acts against coalition forces from a range of countries?” Avoiding the question, he replied, “I’m not here to defend the special forces of Iran, I’m not here to defend any of those actions that have happened or been planned for the future.”
Pressing for a definitive response, the interviewer directly asked, “Soleimani: terrorist. Yes or no?” Corbyn said, “Soleimani is the head of special forces of Iran. They obviously operate in all kinds of places that you or I would not agree with or want.”
Corbyn lost his bid to serve as the UK’s prime minister to Boris Johnson on December 14 among scathing accusations of rampant anti-Semitism in his party. He also appeared on Iranian state TV channel Press TV when he was a backbench MP and referred to members of Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends.”
Speaking in front of the British Parliament on Tuesday against the US strike, Tory MPs burst out in “uproarious laughter ” when he said, “As the Secretary of State for Defense will confirm, I have long spoken out against the Iranian government’s human rights record, including when he and I visited Iran together in 2014,” according to the UK’s Daily Mail.
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