UK Backs President Trump on Iran, Deploys Royal Navy to the Persian Gulf
British Secretary of State for Defence back United States
President Donald Trump's order to strike Iran's elite Quds Force, Gen. Qasem Soleimani last week has been defended by the United Kingdom, saying the United States is “entitled to defend itself” against Iranian aggression while deploying the Royal Navy to the Persian Gulf.
Ben Wallace, the Secretary of State for Defence, expressed support for the Trump administration's decision to take out Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander, citing violence committed in Iraq by Iran-backed militias.
“During the last few months, U.S. forces in Iraq, who are based in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government, have been repeatedly attacked by Iranian-backed militia,” Wallace said.
“General Soleimani has been at the heart of the use of proxies to undermine neighboring sovereign nations and target Iran’s enemies," he added.
"Under international law, the United States is entitled to defend itself against those posing an imminent threat to their citizens,” the Defence Secretary concluded.
The United Kingdom has also deployed the Royal Navy to the Strait of Hormuz, to protect British shipping vessels from strikes from Iran.
Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary Dominic Raab also defended the killing of Soleimani.
“My view is — and the operational assessment has been done by the Americans — is that there is a right of self-defense,” Raab said.
“It was General Soleimani’s job description to engage proxies, militias across not just Iraq but the whole region, not just to destabilize those countries but to attack Western countries.
"In those circumstances, the right of self-defense clearly applies," he added.
Dem Senator Sinema Admits “Soleimani was a Terrorist” and “Iran’s aggression should be checked”— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) January 5, 2020
READ MORE: https://t.co/BNw1aVIWDp
An Islamic terrorist group has launched an attack against a military base in Africa used by US forces, seemingly in retaliation for the killing of #Iran's General Qasem #Soleimani, according to early reports.— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) January 5, 2020
READ MORE: https://t.co/R9ZcGxwG7Z
The British Foreign Office warned British citizens not to travel to Iraq, where the United Kingdom still has 400 military personnel stationed, saying that British citizens “could be arbitrarily detained or arrested in Iran.”
The Pentagon said in a statement following the strike:
"At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization."
The Pentagon added that Soleimani was “actively developing plans” to attack American service members and diplomats in Iraq.