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by Marcus Bennet
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis has urged the British government not to follow Donald Trump “blindly” into a war against Iran, which he said would be a “humanitarian disaster.”
He made the comments in a speech at an international rally at Unison’s annual conference in Liverpool.
Last week Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that Britain agreed with the US position that Iran was responsible for the attacks on two Japanese oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.
Mr Hunt said that the Iranian government was “almost certainly” responsible for the attacks, and that they were “indicative” of a “pattern of destabilising Iranian behaviour” in the Middle East.
In response to a question from Committee for the Defence of the Iranian Peoples’ Rights (Codir) assistant general secretary Jamshid Ahmadi, Mr Prentis said that the situation was proving to be “more dangerous by the day.
“We need to ensure that we don’t end up with a new war in the Middle East. That will be disastrous for the region,” he added.
Mr Prentis urged Mr Hunt to “think twice” to “not rush into making any decision about the recent incident” until “all details and aspects of the situation become clearer.”
“Some aspects of the situation as reported by the US do not add up,” he said.
“The video presented by the US unusually is very faint, in black and white and pixelated.
“Britain should not follow blindly the policies and actions of the United States in the Persian Gulf.
“Europe and the world are still struggling to get a grip with the consequences of military adventures and humanitarian disaster that followed in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
“I would say that the very dangerous situation we are facing in relation with Iran is the direct consequences of Donald Trump’s decision for the US to leave the ‘five plus one agreement’ with Iran regarding the development of Iran’s nuclear technology.
“I advise Jeremy Hunt to direct his efforts towards solutions based on dialogue and negotiations that could resolve disputes and disagreements through peaceful means.”
Following the end of the rally, Mr Prentis and other international guests posed for a photograph with delegates holding placards supporting demands for “peace, human and democratic rights and social justice” in Iran.
They also called for a rejection of “war, sanctions and foreign intervention” against the country.
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