Who on earth would argue for a regime which hangs homosexuals, stones rape victims and sponsors terrorism across three continents? Who would act as a spokesperson or advocate of such a dictatorship? Well one answer appears to be ‘certain British Parliamentarians.’ In particular Labour MP Jack Straw, Conservative MP Ben Wallace and former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Lamont. It appears that Britain has developed an ‘Iran lobby’.
In a fascinating piece in today’s Wall Street Journal on Britain’s Iran lobby Sohrab Ahmari says:
‘Messrs. Straw, Wallace and Lamont have in recent months criticized the obstacles posed by American sanctions to U.K. banks that do business with Iran. “The impact of this unilateral, extraterritorial jurisdiction of the U.S. is especially discriminatory against U.K.-based financial institutions, because of their multinational nature,” Mr. Straw declared in a March Westminster debate.
‘I spoke separately with all three lawmakers on the phone last week. All three see engaging Tehran as good for British business and essential to stabilizing a Middle East tumbling toward chaos. Dissolved in this “realist” tincture is a measure of postcolonial guilt and anger toward Washington hawks who have shown “gratuitous hostility” toward Iran, as Mr. Straw put it to me.
‘All three sounded fairly clear-eyed about the realities of the Iranian regime. Nonetheless, their views on the conflict between the West and the Islamic Republic at times strikingly echoed Iranian talking points.’
Read the whole thing here.
Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.