Tensions between Iran and the US have escalated since US forces killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike last week. Huge crowds gathered for Soleimani’s funeral, a man who was considered to be the second most important leader in Iran. Esmail Ghaani, the general who will succeed him as head of the Quds Force, has vowed revenge.
Last night, Ms Thornberry – the Shadow Foreign Secretary – said on BBC Newsnight that the UK should be demanding an emergency sitting of the UN Security Council over the assassination.
She added that she would say “we must bring the world together, there must not be a war, both sides must stop acting illegally and they have to step back”.
However, Ms Thornberry has previously been attacked for a letter she posted on social media addressed to then-Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on the subject of Iran and Israel’s actions in Iraq and Syria.
She warned of escalation into war and suggested that the UK should sanction both nations, although many of the sanctions seemed to be aimed at Israel.
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Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry (Image: GETTY)
Qasem Soleimani was killed last week in a targeted drone strike (Image: GETTY)
In fact, Ms Thornberry was accused of equating the actions of Israel to defend its very existence with the overtly aggressive Iran.
She wrote in January 2019: “I am sure that you have been gravely alarmed by the latest escalation in the multifaceted conflict in Syria.
“These exchanges have been accompanied by unacceptable rhetoric from both parties, with Iranian air force commander Aziz Nasirzadeh saying his pilots were ready to ‘confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the Earth’, and Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz saying: ‘The policy has changed. This is an open confrontation with Iran’.
“The escalation also comes amid reports that your US counterpart, Mike Pompeo, has told the Netanyahu government in Israel that the US will have no objection if the Israeli air force conducts airstrikes inside the sovereign state of Iraq against what it alleges are Iranian backed Shiite militias transporting missiles into Syria.
Emily Thornberry on BBC Newsnight (Image: BBC)