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Iran has been at war with Britain for some time – it’s time that we took notice

4 January 2016

6:46 AM

4 January 2016

6:46 AM

When British troops were on patrol in Iraq and Afghanistan, we faced many enemies, from jihadis to press-ganged civilians. But he most terrifying ones lay buried. Bullets usually miss. Improvised explosive devices – IEDs — don’t. They are frighteningly simple. Old munitions wired together or plastic bottles packed with fertiliser and ball-bearings could destroy a vehicle and kill its passengers.

During the four years I served in Afghanistan, I saw IEDs evolve: first came remote triggers, then pressure plates and then low-metal-content devices. Curiously, IEDs evolved in a similar way in Iraq. This should be no surprise, since the groups trying to kill British troops shared one common resource: Iranian support.

For years, Tehran has armed insurgents. Through the Quds Force, the special forces unit of the regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, it has killed British troops and plotted to assassinate diplomats in Washington DC. The ayatollahs have nurtured terrorists around the world. Their war has never been declared, but has cost many lives.

Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the Quds Forces, has waged a secret war against Britain for years. Seeking to limit our options, his forces, Russian allies and Syrian and Hezbollah proxies, have slaughtered the more moderate Syrian rebels. What’s more, he is trying to split us from our allies. By smuggling weapons into Bahrain and Kuwait to encourage violence, he’s trying to force the Royal Navy from its principal base in the Persian Gulf.

Serving in the armed forces across the region, I learned how Iran spreads its malign influence. In Lebanon and Syria I saw how its Revolutionary Guard Corps supported fighters and shaped regional leaders. Today, we are watching Russia join Tehran in military adventurism in Syria — not just to secure Assad but to challenge our interests. And now they have won the end of sanctions in exchange for little more than a ten-year delay in nuclear production.

The recent nuclear deal sent a clear message to our allies: Iran is winning. For the first time since Egypt stopped receiving Russian support in 1970, the US is on the back foot and Moscow is back in – on the Shia side.

Yes, it was an American deal. Britain’s leverage was removed by the flood of businesses pushing to get around sanctions and the Obama administration’s determination to reach a deal. But to our allies among the Gulf countries, we are part of the group who pushed Iran hard for years – and then blinked.

 

Obama’s carried further than that of Britain in the negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal, but we cannot rely on Washington to ensure the agreement works. The deal should have banned acts of terror and subversion. It should have included a real end to the nuclear programme; it should have stopped Suleimani and his Quds Force undermining the positions of our allies.

If Iran falls short and seeks to use subterfuge to undermine our allies, we must stiffen America’s resolve. We had to do so before, when Margaret Thatcher ensured President George H.W. Bush defended Kuwait in 1990. We must be prepared to do so again.

Tom Tugendhat served with the British Army in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is now Conservative MP for Tonbridge and Malling. This is an abridged version of an article which first ran last October.


Show comments
  • Thaddeus lovelock

    The Shiite Theocracy is on borrowed, time. Iran has a large number young people.. And the younger generation, don’t won’t a bar of these old men telling them what to do. It’s only the Guns that keep the religious maniacs in power.

  • Ivan Ewan

    I guess if you’re going to criticise Iran, the neo-Nazis and hard leftists both come out of the woodwork. They’re here below in full force.

    Why is that? Because Iran boasts from the rooftops that they want to destroy the USA and Israel. And so do they.

  • crazydave789

    I think you’ll find that we started it, decades of trying to depose and place new leader into iran to protect our oil interests teaching the US how to do it with as much success. Iran still thinks we are behind everything the US is doing to it.

  • kevin foy

    Was this article written by a 5year old. You don’t have to be aretard to be a conservative MP, but it does help! especially so if you’ve been in the army, isn’t that right Iain.

    I’ll just pick my favourite argument “The Iranians are trying to split us from our allies” Ah you mean our allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE, what so we won’t be so craven to Wahhabist regimes? those devious basturds . Next you’ll be telling me the Iranians are trying to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria, how dare they, we paid good money to arm them.

  • haywardsward

    Lest we Forget a USA determined to turn Afghanistan into the USSR’s ” Viet Nam””

    The Saudi Sunni Wahabi Salafi,at the behest of the House of Saud and with the full knowledge of the USApreached jihad against the “godless” communist USSR and its assistance to the then Afghan
    Government.

    The Saudis provided vast amounts of money, the USA some funds and most of the training. Training campswere set up in Pakistan with the assistance of the ISI.

    One of these camps was where the training concentrated on Improvised Explosive Devices.

    “Buda’s Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb” by Mike Davis, specifically Chapter 13 “Car Bomb
    University”

    An “institution” jointly funded by the Saudi GID and the CIA. Here training was given by CIA operatives whose experience came from their work in Viet Nam, other partsof Indo China, Central, South America and Europe. They instructed in the construction and use of IED, VIED, pipe bombs, even camel bombs.

    Then, of course, never having learnt from history* the US via the DIA & CIA brought to fruition ISIS.

    * The two Georges, Hegel and
    Santayana

    May I suggest The Blowback” Trilogy, by Chalmers Johnson

    •Blowback: The Costs and
    Consequences of American Empire

    •The Sorrows of Empire:
    Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic

    •Nemesis: The Last Days of the
    American Republic

    Then he wrote

    •Dismantling the Empire:
    America’s Last Best Hope

  • jeremy Morfey

    I wouldn’t call gratuitous acts of self-expression “war”. Burning flags and issuing hellfire and damnation curses is just a grand day out for some folk, similar to the blanket denunciation of pretty well everybody I used to tune into on Radio Tirana back in the 1970s. It’s their way of saying hello. Like the Maori haka. Most people in that picture seem to be just going about their business, or curiously looking to see what the fuss is about. I see the same sort of reaction when morris dancing on the streets.

    Do you remember a few years back when the Iranians caught those Mr Bean-style British marines who attempted a covert operation there, and were duly gleefully put on display by Ahmadinejad? They milked them for all the propaganda value they could get out of it, and then let them go. Contrast that with the routine throat-slitting of aid workers on trumped-up espionage charges of the Sunni islamists.

    While I have enormous respect and admiration for those who fought on the front line in Iraq and Afghanistan, often with little thanks from the public and too few resources from their political masters, I do think the author’s analysis here lacks depth – Sergeant level thinking, rather than General level.

    For all their lunatic revolutionary religious rantings and quite alien set of cultural norms, Iran may yet turn out to be a doughty friend and ally when confronting something far worse emerging from Wahhabi lands.

  • Marketthinker

    KSA constantly talks of Shia expansionism, but all we see is Sunni expansionism, especially the Wahhabi form pushed by KSA and the Qataris. This article, along with many others (today’s editorial in the FT for example) refer to the malign influence of Iran. Sure, but what about the malign influence of the KSA and Qatar? These people are not our friends (nor for that matter are the Turks) but they suit the current “great Game’ being played by the US state department and the CIA and we Europeans go along with it – and pay the price. Paris, London, Madrid and many other incidents illustrate how ordinary Europeans are paying the price and only the arms dealers like Bae are benefitting. And now the US is pressuring the EU to include Turkey, a country of 75million Muslims with a direct border to this hellhole into the EU, because it suits the US, even though it would be a disaster for Europe on multiple levels. Time to push back.
    The CIA may prefer paranoid and decadent Royal families to secular strongmen because they are more biddable and buy more US weaponry, but they come at a price we all must pay; Wahhabi/Salafist expansionism funded by KSA and the gulf states to appease their clerics with the accompanying call for Jihad. For decades the CIA has screwed up its stealth attempt at a US empire with its nation building. In South America and Latam it merely ruined the countries concerned fuelled by cold war paranoia, but in the near and middle east it created the Mujahidin, Al Qaeda and led to the rise of the Muslim brotherhood and now ISIS, all of whom are a clear and present danger to the whole world. Time to call time on this too.

  • John P Hughes

    Tom Tugendhat MP writes at the end of his article:
    “We must stiffen America’s resolve. We had to do so before, when Margaret Thatcher ensured President George H.W. Bush defended Kuwait in 1990. We must be prepared to do so again.”

    What happened in 1990 was the Margaret Thatcher did stiffen Bush’s resolve (‘George, this is not time to go wobbly’ is the reputed quote). So Desert Shield was commenced and a large force assembled in the Saudi side of the Iraqi border. The Conservative Party then removed Mrs Thatcher from office in November 1990. John Major became PM and had much less influence on American policy. When Desert Storm began, British Ministers were really spcatators, and it was Bush and his advisers (mainly Colin Powell) who decided to stop the offe nsive sauddenly after 100 hours. Had Margaret Thatcher still be in office, she would have been involved in deciding when and where to stop. Some historians now say that if the offensive had been continued for another 48 hours the Iraqi armour and much of its equipment would have been destroyed and Saddam could have fallen,

    Mr Tugendhat might like to consider that it was the MPs of the time in his Party who helped to ensure that the Gulf War was not concluded properly. We have paid a high price – had they waited 6-9 months Mrs T would have retired anyway, we now know.

  • WarriorPrincess111111

    I understand that Tom Tugendhat served with the British Intelligence Corps while in the Middle East. In that understanding I am surprised that he accepts that the West has any true allies in those regions. There is not one state in the Middle East that can be trusted – this is evident from various statements made in the Arab media. Not only that, but none of the individual countries trust one another either. Few countries in the Gulf State are sympathetic to Iran, but they would err on the side of Iran against the US if it came to it.
    There has never been any real reason for the states to have interfered in the Middle East. There are other countries in the world ruled by dictator’s, given that is their reasoning – and there are many people who are suffering due to that. But the US has not intervened in their cause.
    The history of the US, was that in the 1980’s, the US had control over Iran’s oil. But when a new leader came to power in Iran ten years later, he took back the rights to the oil claiming that the US had abused the agreement. Another ten years passed and another leader of Iran was chosen, this was at the same time as the twin tower incident in the States, and coincidentally when the US Alaskan oil wells were beginning to dry up. The cost of Imported oil to The States, the World’s largest user of oil – was bringing the US to its knees. Thus came about the War on Terrorism and the claimed necessity for the Gulf Wars.
    The US was unable to succeed in Iran. It will not succeed in Saudi Arabia on which it is focussing at present and it has left all the other countries, Libya, Iraq, etc., in complete turmoil.
    It does not matter how much the UK increases its defence spending, we are far better off distancing ourselves from the unrest completely. It would be a far better option to become a neutral country than to face what may turn out to be a huge backlash in the near future.

  • Mata Bakhtiar

    Dear Mr Tugendhat, the MP,
    You see, against all our feeling of dejection & delusion, sometimes, we have to use a bit of maturity in our thinking & realise [Not] always do our past set the best template to pursue the lost glory: Rationality and realism are the best guide to understand what is our place in this changing world. As would neither aberration nor bitterness are the answers towards the loss of what once we considered were ours: if you are intelligent-enough you should understand that! Iranians will carry-on regardless!

  • WetWork

    The ban on landmines was aimed at Western-style democracies, which have essentially removed them from their inventories. The worlds non-democracies use landmines all the time, however they have been renamed improvised explosive devices (IEDs) when made in factories in Iran or China. A fine example of lawfare, designed to weaken us and empower the worlds bastards, like the IRI.

  • Fasdunkle

    If you want to know what a thoroughly pernicious state Iran is just watch some their propaganda on PressTV – often featuring western native informants such as George Galloway or the fascists at Veterans Today

  • Ernie Shore

    “Today, we are watching Russia join Tehran in military adventurism in Syria…”
    The UK would never ever countenance such a thing in another sovereign state….Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya…erm….Syria…..

  • Ernie Shore

    Might Iran’s attitude to the UK and USA have something to do with the toppling of the democratically elected Mossadeqh in 1953 etc?

  • Cobbett

    What a faithful poodle Tom is.

  • Leftism is a societal cancer

    Get lost Hasbarat

  • Dan Disqus

    Such utter nonsense!
    Whatever happened to our humanity and principles? not even a drop of it?
    Clearly this article is funded in full by the Saudis!
    So we should now support the Royal Butchers of Saudi Arabia because they are our friends?
    We should be ashamed and criticise this murdering terrorist financiers in Saudi Arabia not befriend them!

  • victor67

    Iran’s actions in Iraq and Afghanistan were purely defensive.

    In 2003 you had Dubya mouthing of about axis of evil and the US had just invaded and occupied its neighbours and if that had gone well Syria and Iran were next.

    It was an existential neccesisty for them keeping the Yanks bogged down.
    Iran is not our enemy and Britain should realign its foreign policy a way from the Wahhabi spreading House of Saud

  • Liberanos

    As an infidel, I naturally want them both to lose.

  • Graeme S

    Who ever said that the Kipling’s Great Game finished ….. he just keeps re-inventing itself.

  • Jez

    Is this article to stun the reader into a false state of knowledge regarding our rather unpleasant ally Saudi Arabia seemingly declaring War on Iran over the weekend?

    Most of the incidents may be true (in the above article) but let’s look at the other facts on the ground that are running parallel to this narrative.

  • http://rantingoldgit.blogspot.co.uk/ Arthur Sparknottle

    I find it quite hilarious that Tom Tugendhat speaks of Iran spreading its malign influence far and wide in the context of a discussion of how our own unfortunate forces were targeted THOUSANDS of miles from home where they were loyally doing the bidding of our own malign politicians. Quite frankly, Iran has much more excuse to seek influence RIGHT ON ITS DOORSTEP than we have from thousands of miles away on our small over-crowded island in the North East Atlantic. OUR influence on that region has been nothing but malign at least since the end of WW2. If Iranians call us the little Satan, maybe we should recall that it was we – the self righteous British that deposed their democratic leader Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 and imposed upon them the dictator Reza Pahlavi- the Shah – who tortured his critics and murdered them for a quarter of a century until he was over-thrown by a radical revolution. WE CAUSED THAT, and we have since then participated in the destruction of Iraq, a failed decade long war of attrition in Afghanistan and also the appalling dissolution of Libya – now a failed state on the borders of the EU with growing ISIL presence a short hop from southern Europe. Next summer we can expect DAESH fighters to land on Italian islands riding in pedalos…..

    Tom Tugendhat is the very worst kind of propagandised fool. Completely blind to reality. Iran is a major nation of almost 78 million people RIGHT in the heart of an area that WE have done more than most to ruin. Of course they expect an influence in what goes on in adjoining countries. Wouldn’t we?

    • Richard

      Weren’t Mossadegh’s lot fomenting revolution by assassination? But this is all going back sixty years. Iran as it is currently was created in 1979

      • http://rantingoldgit.blogspot.co.uk/ Arthur Sparknottle

        My belief is that Mossadegh had the temerity to demand a better price for the country’s oil and when frustrated, to take over control from The Anglo Iranian oil company. The point is though that WE had the arrogance to topple an elected government and impose a dictator, and I dispute that year zero in the making of Ian was 1979…. I can with equal force assert that it was 1953 when we supplanted an elected government and imposed our own man who spent a quarter of a century putting his opposition in dungeons. Such a regime created the fertile ground of the unpleasant mullahs that followed. Worse still, we never learn and just keep on doing the same stupid things.

        • Richard

          It may have been that there was a huge risk of regional instability, but perhaps you are more apprised of the situation than I am. Generally there is more to a situation than simply black and white (Labour’s obsession with race in the UK notwithstanding).

  • Adam Carter

    I can understand why we don’t say ‘improvised explosive device’; 8 syllables.
    But ‘IED’ is still 3 syllables, so why not say ‘bomb’?
    ‘Roadside bomb’ is still only 3 syllables.

    • Malcolm Stevas

      “IED” is probably American. They incline to prolixity.

      • Richard

        “Rubbish” is only two syllables; “prolixity” is three.

        • Malcolm Stevas

          They don’t mean the same. And “prolixity” is a nice word, doesn’t get enough exposure…

          • Richard

            Yes, I know they have different meanings, but perhaps “rubbish” is more accurate. “Verbosity” is four syllables, you see, and too mild.

            • GoJebus

              ”Crap” – one syllable.

        • King Kibbutz

          Prolixity? I just can’t get it to go into three.

      • The Bellman

        It might well be American in origin but its use is not recent. IED was used to describe ‘devices’ encountered in N Ireland as early as the early 70s. It is useful sometimes as a means to distinguish improvised munitions from purpose-built ones, such as those which might be dropped by air forces (or, if you prefer, ‘fixed wing assets’…).

        I agree with Adam regarding spoken English, but abbreviations are much better for written reports, particularly where the readership understands the context. What is contemptible is the way it has crept into usage by journalists and other dilettantes, who use it to imply some kind of mystery.

        • Malcolm Stevas

          It’s true that journos can be remarkably sloppy with terminology/facts, and the decline of sub-editing only exacerbates this.

        • haywardsward

          Well before the IRA,reference “Buda’s Wagon” which draws attention to their use from the Stern Gang in pre-Israel Palestine to Casey’s CIA operatives in Lebanon to Iraqi “insurgents” as well as Bomb U in Pakistan with the CIA teaching to Afghan mujadahin

    • Airey Belvoir

      The weasel word often used, is ‘device.’

  • The Bellman

    Britain has also been waging a ‘secret war’ with Iran for many years. Our means might differ from theirs, but it is odd that Mr Tugendhat seeks to portray us a passive in this respect.

  • EUSSR-Dissident

    Saudi supports ISIS. I hardly think we should be looking to the Middle East for friends at this point in time.

    • haywardsward

      Abetted by the DIA & CIA

  • Daidragon

    Another article from the wahabi/zionist axis of evil. The Gulf States, Saudi and Turkey should NOT be considered allies.

    • EUSSR-Dissident

      I wholeheartedly agree.

    • David Brown

      Especially Turkey what is it doing in NATO. Its buying oil from ISIS.
      It will become a Trojan horse for more Muslims to pour into Europe.
      Its not fanatics with guns or bombs which are the real threat but their demographic bomb . There are two many in the west we need to expel lots of them.

      • Richard Baranov

        Did anyone see the other day that Erdogon stated that all he wanted was the same powers as Hitler! Telegraph report three days ago.

    • King Kibbutz

      It’s just that ‘wahabi/zionist’ bit. Do you really think it’s like that?

      • Daidragon

        Who are America’s best partners/customers in the region? Israel and Saudi. Go figure.

        • King Kibbutz

          I figured and it didn’t take long to see that your thinking on this is childishly simplistic.

          • Copyright101

            But there is some truth in it. Of course he puts a**e about face. The shambles of the ME benefits Israel, not the US, thus the US is clearly not acting in its own best interests.

            Wahabi terrorists – ISIS etc) never fight Israel only Shia, errant Sunni, Christians and so on. ALQ does 9/11 and the end result is a secular state (Iraq) is destroyed. Israel benefits, Wahabi barbarians are empowered. Turkey has been tacitltly involved in a friendly way with ISIS. The list goes on and on.

            • King Kibbutz

              It is very complex, yes. Given the lack of information, to hope for answers is far too ambitious – all we can hope to do is to ask relevant questions.
              How does an empowered Wahabi force benefit Israel?
              Must the interests of the US, necessarily be out of alignment with those of Israel? (Can we be sure the ‘shambles of the ME’ does not benefit the US?
              Just how secular a state was Iraq?
              No questions arise around Turkey and its intentions.

              • Copyright101

                How does an empowered Wahabi force benefit Israel?

                Because they spend all their time attacking Christians and other Muslims and destabilising Israel’s neighbours. If at some point they get too uppity Israel will pull the plug or create a new group to undermine them. This has happened with the Palestinians before.

                Must the interests of the US, necessarily be out of alignment with those
                of Israel?

                No, but Id like to see a clear explanation of what those benefits are to the US. Its obvious what Israel gets – financial aid, loans that are never repaid, military support, the US (and others) fighting their wars, forgiveness for killing US personal, votes in the UN etc etc The US in return gets . . . ?

                Can we be sure the ‘shambles of the ME’ does not benefit
                the US?

                Again, it might. But I’d like to see some proof that it does. Proof that doesnt turn out just to be a benefit to Israel.

                • King Kibbutz

                  This does seem a bit one-dimensional and aimed at the one target. What wars do the US fight on behalf of Israel?
                  What loans that are never repaid/dead personnel/UN votes/what etc?

                  I respect your points but I remain unconvinced.

                • Daidragon

                  Iraq, Libya, the attempt to bomb Assad, were all part of the wider strategy of reducing Iran’s allies (and Saudi/Israel’s enemies) to rubble. Why would you logically conclude that the best response to 9/11 (committed by Sunni, Saudi, Jihadists) was to systematically remove the enemies of Saudi Arabia? Because Saudi/Israel are by far and away your biggest customers for miltary hardware and the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Except they aren’t your friends. That was the mistake and we are all dealing with the fallout of the neocon crusade.

                • King Kibbutz

                  I just don’t go with this idea that such momentous acts, taken by the US and UK et al, are even in part, motivated by next year’s arms sales targets. Venal they may be, but I don’t see our politicians hoping to get away with such tricks.
                  My other point of contention with all this, is that so much of it seems to be rooted in the unquestioned conviction that ‘the only problem is Israel’. It’s my belief that this is not the case and never has been.

                • Daidragon

                  Who did Cameron take with him on his first trip to post Gadhaffi Libya? A couple of arms dealers.

                • King Kibbutz

                  I look forward to the time when this world has no need for arms. We are far from it and everyone needs them.
                  The act of manufacturing and supplying arms, will be carried out by someone, somewhere, regrettable though that is; but this falls far short of being evidence of some great Western plan to boost arms sales. It’s a by product, yes, but not reason for, war.

                • Daidragon

                  Libya was regime change. A UN resolution called for a no fly zone over Benghazi and yet it quickly became about bombing Tripoli and the rest of Libya. Blatant and part of the neocon plan for the ME. Syria was next on the list but thankfully Parliament and now Putin have nipped that in the bud.

                • King Kibbutz

                  None of this is good in my opinion, but again and with respect, this puppet master narrative is just all too pat.

                • Daidragon

                  I suppose you think the recent Israeli assassination of the Hezbollah leader is just a coincidence. Israel have bombed Damascus about 50 times in the last year. There was a clear agenda to use 9/11 as the pretext for taking out regimes that are hostile to America’s allies in the region. It has stalled in Syria because of Russia’s intervention.

                • King Kibbutz

                  We’re into ‘false flag’ territory now then?

                • Ivan Ewan

                  Of course they are. They’re Stormfronters. Copyright101 being a regular.

                • haywardsward

                  http://www.opencrs.com/document/IB85066/2002-10-17%2000:00:00

                  just one of the many reports on issued by the Congressional Research Service, an adjunct to the Library of Congress that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events.

                  All of these reports start with this statement or a slight variation.

                  “Israel is not economically self-sufficient, and relies on foreign assistance and borrowing to maintain its economy. Since 1985, the United States has provided $3 billion in grants annually to Israel. Since 1976, Israel has been the largest annual recipient of U.S. foreign assistance, and is the largest cumulative recipient since World War II. “

                  So in fact , Israel would be a bankrupt state if not for the US$91 billion + it has received from 1949 to 2002 as CRS reports repeatedly show. This is reckoned to be a conservative figure! As it does not include aid forgiven and the interest foregone.

                  And then there are all those tax deductible American-Israeli “foundations” like AIPAC that pour more millions into propping Israel up. So the American taxpayer pays yet again.

                • haywardsward

                  As the Israeli support for Hamas as religious alternative to the secular PLO proves.

                • Copyright101

                  Indeed. Didn’t they set up the PLO in the first place anyway?

              • Daidragon

                It benefits Israel by weakening or removing Israel’s enemies i.e Assad, Saddam, Gadhaffi, Nasrullah and Iran. Cheney and co clearly had no idea of the consequences of this policy. They are the architects of AQ and ISIS.

                • Ivan Ewan

                  You’ve got no more evidence for that than you have evidence that Canada is responsible for the Islamic State.

                  You put the cart before the horses; you say in your mind, “Israel did it – now to find evidence for it and throw out any contradictory evidence.”

                  Now b***er off back to your hard left chums and tell them how proud you are for backing up a known neo-Nazi.

  • Cyril Sneer

    “‘By smuggling weapons into Bahrain and Kuwait to encourage violence”

    What like in Syria and the joint efforts of the scum of the KSA, Qatar and Turkish to destroy a sovereign country by introducing AQ nutters to the country all aided and support by the good ol’ USA.

    Has Turkish, Saudi and Qatari scum been punished for supporting ISIS yet? Oh no of course not.

  • Cyril Sneer

    Meanwhile the KSA is blowing the sh t out of Yemen, cluster bombs galore, yet not a peep from the west about this. Alas for the KSA their dirty little war in Yemen much like their dirty little war in Syria is not going to plan at all.

    I’m looking forward to some blowback on KSA.

    • Airey Belvoir

      UK Government Rule 1: Saudi Arabia must never be condemned, no matter how inhumane, brutal or damaging its activities are. It’s funding of extreme Wahabi violence is not to be referred to at any time.

    • Noa

      Unfortunately its unclear which set of headhunters would replace the bloodthirsty and corrupt Al Saud family if, (when) they are deposed. The only certainty would be that, as in Libya, the replacements would be worse.

    • crazydave789

      it’s starting already,

  • Darren Lovegrove

    Iran are a peaceful nation. I challenge anyone to watch any of ex President Ahmedinijhad’s United nations speeches; a true humanitarian who told it like it is. Mr Tugendhat was serving in countries that he had no right to be in whatsoever; the western media has convinced the world of a massive extremist threat from the likes of Iran and Iraq when most people can barely afford to live let alone afford a flight to europe.
    I am white british, yet i for one am glad Putin ‘is winning’, though Mr Tugendhat makes it sound like a game when it is far from. Like it or not Vladimir Putin is the only leader standing in the way of ww3 right now.
    Wake up people, tptb are pressing his buttons, the downing of the fighter, the lowering of the oil price being just two of them. The thing is about these measures, they are failing, just like western policy in Syria. they are both failing because both Putin and Assad command the support of the vast majority of their people and thats all that counts not the western media demonizing both of them.
    I wish to leave you with two statistical facts to ponder.
    1)in 2012 1.75 trillion dollars were spent on military defence yet to eradicate world hunger would cost a mere $230million
    2)britains GDP is $4 trillion, 8 families have over $7,500 trillion in the bank(and it is these that own all the media you lap up, including all the news agencies; the average western citizen has no chance of finding the truth

    and finally the OP talks about ‘splitting from allies’, the splitting started 2,000 years ago when the Vatican invented Islam to divide east and west spiritually, and a damn fine job its done of that. I honestly people would quit with the ‘my religion is better than your religion’ rhetoric because in my book all monotheistic religion can be put in the bin; we are all equal, we are all one, im sorry that the OP has fallen for the divide and conquer rhetoric.

    I am a soothsayer, i assure one and all there are massive changes coming soon that will force people to completely re-think their take on society. Then again Mark Twain was right ‘it’s easier to foll people than to convince people they have been fooled’, and when you have a chunk of cash 100 times the enitire worlds GDP, and have developed tools for control over centuries(religion, money, TV), you can convince people of anything you so wish, including convincing the OP that he was defending me living in Wales by going to fight in Afghanistan when the truth of the matter is anything but as its no coincidence since the west went to Afghanistan Opium production has hit new highs.

    and clive talks about Iranians being a ‘nasty lot’, i have know several Iranians over the years and the truth is far from. And im all for beheadings, i have lived in the middle east, the crime rates are virtually non existent(people in the west fail to see this as Irans prison population is misreported by the western media. with the same population as the UK their prison population is a tenth of the UK’s) yet prisons seem to be such a growth industry in the west….. Iran beheads bankers too, if any group of crooks and robbers need a good dose of this it would be the city of London sheisters. wake up Clive, all you quote is zionist scum controlled media… did you know all the worlds mainstream media is owned and Run by 6 Jewish corporations…. your only getting propaganda from the Guardian and the BBC sadly… CNN, FOX, turn it all off,,,,, its all garbage.

    peace x

    I

    • Malcolm Stevas

      Terrific stuff, comforting to start a new year with some reliably wacky conspiracy theory – I particularly like “the Vatican invented Islam to divide east and west spiritually”.

      • Darren Lovegrove

        as i said ‘its easier to fool people than to convince people they have been fooled’ thing is Malcolm the truth can be found in the history books if you can be bothered opening your eyes. You see Mohammad preached at the point of a sword and these armies needed funding. The vatican funded them in return for 3 favours Firstly to Eliminate the Jews and Christians (the latter were regarded as true believers, which they called infidels). Secondly to Protect the Augustinian monks and Roman Catholics and lastly to Conquer Jerusalem for “His Holiness” in the Vatican.
        As a result history is littered with instances where Jews and true Christians were slaughtered, and Jerusalem fell into their hands to boot however Roman Catholics were never attacked, nor were their shrines, during this time. What Rome didnt bank on however was that the Arab generals had such military success that they could not be intimidated by the pope; they created an out of control monster. The writing was on the wall when they started to call the Pope an ‘infidel’, so that prompted the crusades to put them back in their place….
        as i said, all the jigsaw pieces are in the history books if you can be bothered to do your own research.

        peace

        • Malcolm Stevas

          Yeah, yeah – peace, man…

          • Darren Lovegrove

            i take it as read you have withdrawn your assertion that my statement is far from ‘whacky’ and is more based in fact. peace indeed

            • Malcolm Stevas

              An optimistic assumption on your part.

              • Darren Lovegrove

                as i said friend all of this is in the history books if you can be bothered reading them; relying on propaganda for truth is like relying on the bible to give you an accurate account of scientific method: Aint happening.

                • P_S_W

                  Reading history books is a bit like reading the Bible as well. No one history book is definitive as many historians have their own biases, not to mention errors in recording what actually happened.

                • Darren Lovegrove

                  i am with you to a point though please remember the more advanced
                  races and countries had amazingly accurate ways of recording matters of
                  historical significance. here is some of that historical record(apologies for the caps…..

                  KING
                  SOLOMON’S BEST FRIENDS WERE “THE NUBIANS’ AND “THE QUEEN OF SHEBA” WAS AWIFE OF HIS. SHEBA MEAN “BLACK OR DARK SKINNED”. KING SOLOMON’S SON BY THE QUEEN OF SHEBA IS WHO CREATED “THE FIRST DYNASTY OF ETHIOPIA (950
                  BC)” AFTER ALL OF THE WARS AGAINST “THE CANAANITES’.

                  KING SOLOMON AND KING DAVID BOTH WOULD STATE IN THE OPEN THAT THEY WERE ALL ‘BLACK PEOPLE AND BLACK QUEENS AND KINGS”. THERE ARE MANY POEMS OF KING SOLOMON
                  AND THE QUEEN OF SHEBA AND IN MANY OF THEIR POEMS IT IS CLEARLY STATE BY THE KING OF ISRAEL THAT “HE IS BLACK SKINNED
                  & THE SUN HAS BURNT HIM JUST AS IT HAS BURNT ALL OF ISRAEL, FOR HE WAS HATED BY THE ENEMY, WHO HATE THEIR SKIN. HE ALSO STATE THAT HE WAS THE SLAVE IN EGYPT AND HOW THE LORD MADE THEM ALL FREE.
                  All of the children of “ETHIOPIA” are the children of “KING SOLOMON (THE ISRAELITE KING) & THE QUEEN OF SHEBA”.

                  the above is a statement of ancient and undoctored historical record

                • Richard

                  Which document? Try a bit less of the ganja, by the way.

                • Darren Lovegrove

                  Here are some links of proof;

                  The Sidonians History;

                  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13776a.htm

                  The Ethiopian History;

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwihu7o6YxM&feature=related

                  The Hittite Kingdoms;

                  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07305a.htm

                  and by the way not sure which way you religiously swing but even your bible says that JC was black Revelation 1:15 His feet were like burnt bronze glowing in a furnace, and when you burn bronze it goes black

                • Malcolm Stevas

                  With your ideas of what constitutes “proof” we can be grateful you do not practice law.

                • Caviar luvvie

                  nee noo nee noo nee noo nee noo …

                • Richard

                  But none of those cite the historical sources you claim. What does being black have to do with what you said earlier, or the point of this piece?

                • Malcolm Stevas

                  You can use the caps key, but not at the beginning of a sentence? Hmmm… Like the other chap said, lay off the ganja.

                • Darren Lovegrove

                  more constructive comments please Malcolm, and the other chap was a presumptive arsehole too

                • Malcolm Stevas

                  You’re not qualified to judge those who can at least write proper English.

                • Darren Lovegrove

                  you presume too much of me, not least that i dont smoke pot… ‘proper english’ the language of a bigot with a white superiority complex

                • Waykent

                  Instead, you are insane.

                • Darren Lovegrove

                  so your a doctor of psychology in your spare time then?

                • Waykent

                  It is clear to anyone who reads your posts.

                • Darren Lovegrove

                  my stuff sounds off the wall, yet i say there should be no walls. this is why in my world there is infinite potential and in yours there is not

                • Malcolm Stevas

                  Wonderful stuff, keep it coming. If you were more literate and possessed any sense of irony you might have been some sort of junior satirist.

                • Wessex Man

                  Time for you to try and get a life, probably too late.

                • Darren Lovegrove

                  wow you love trolling me dont you??? ‘probably’ is the longest word you have used yet… keep it going son

                • Richard

                  How rude!

                • Darren Lovegrove

                  you started it

      • Richard

        I want to know where the flying saucers are in this. Why haven’t they been mentioned? Perhaps they flew off, dragging the grammar behind them.

    • Daidragon

      Very good analysis. Come on Team Putin/Iran I say.

      • Darren Lovegrove

        Indeed, Putin was put there by powers beyond our comprehension to ensure world war 3 does not happen, this is why he didnt have Turkey for xmas. also there was a nuke planted at the sochi olympics, he disarmed it and never told a soul….. a very cool customer Vlad.

        • Wessex Man

          NURSE! Nurse! nurs! Nur! Nu! nutter!

    • Scradje

      ‘Iran are a peaceful nation’. Illiterate and absurd opening to a deranged tirade that got even worse and more hateful as it progressed. Belongs on conspiracy theorist, hate and lies sites such as the daily stormer and infowars, not the speccie.

      • Darren Lovegrove

        pick any one of ex President Ahmedinijhads speeches and watch it…. pick one, any one, i dare ya

        • Scradje

          Anither illiterate. Go to the daily stormer with the other goose-steppers.

          • Darren Lovegrove

            never heard of the daily stormer; not my fault you have been brainwashed into hating and fearing muslims, its a divide and conquer war for oil, resources and profit and your either too lazy or too stupid to work it out for yourself.
            here are some facts and figures for your enlightenment.
            US civilians killed by terrorists ion 2013 = 17
            US civilians killed by the police in 2013= 500
            you are 29 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist

            be afraid, be very afraid

            • Scradje

              Darren, the ds has an editorial almost precisely in line with the views expressed in your comment. It is a blatent na#i site. Infowars is very similar but does not have the honesty – as the ds does, to admit its actual agenda. Its comment posters make its position perfectly clear though; blatent Jew-hatred, race hate, pro-Putin and his fellow mass murderer Assad, anti-Israel and of course endless conspiracy theories such as 9/11 being a CIA/Mossad ‘black op’. Both sites are for imbeciles.

              • Darren Lovegrove

                hahhahahahaha mass murderer assad???? your buying the western propaganda
                hook line and sinker… how do you know hes a mass murderer??? you know
                because you have been brainwashed by lying scum zionist media who have
                been caught lying about much of the news they proport is truth… go on i
                dare you… put ‘fake media’ into you tube cos im betting you get your
                news off cnn, fox or the bbc, all of which have been caught with their
                pants down recently… jew race hate??? me???? i am a quarter jew!!!!
                the only hate i have in my bones is for the zionist jews who go against
                the Torah, my holy book which specifically forbids the setting up of a
                permanent jewish state. Putin a mass murderer too? hes the only person
                stopping ww3 right now and you had better pray he succeeds… the same
                zionist scum are running ISIS too because how come they never attack
                Israel???? and 9/11 was a black op, you dont have to believe me, try
                believing an ex italian prime minister who said it was in Italys biggest
                sunday newspaper
                http://www.globalresearch.ca/ex-italian-president-intel-agencies-know-9-11-an-inside-job/7550

                • Scradje

                  It is obvious that you have not enjoyed the benefits of a tertiary education; I suggest you get one. Even the most casual observer knows that the Assad dynasty is one of continuous mass murder and torture, just as its key allies Iran and RuSSia. Iran and Syria’s governments have as official policy the extinction of the state of Israel. Hefez Assad even had a painting in his office depicting such an event.
                  The site you referring to is a worthless kremtroll-friendly site, about as reliable as Sputnik or RT, both of which you probably believe to be news outlets. I expect you think Press TV is a reputable channel and regard its presenter George G’Allah-way as a reliable news source.

                • Darren Lovegrove

                  i will get my money back on my Oxford education then… your buying the zionist propaganda hook line and sinker, try thinking for yourself

                • Scradje

                  What college?

                • Darren Lovegrove

                  quite frankly the name of my college is irrelevant, as is your incorrect
                  assertion that i am uneducated. it honestly wouldnt matter to me a jot
                  if i didnt have a degree and post grad diploma to my name after all the
                  powers that be only teach you what they want you to learn. its pretty
                  tough waking up at 42 years of age to the fact that most things that are
                  taught to you about the world are lies(at this point i feel obliged to
                  tell you about the biggest lie of all which would be oil is NOT a fossil
                  fuel, its from water, if the world knew this they wouldnt get so much
                  for a barrel now would they?) and if oil wasnt from water then the
                  wouldnt be such a thing as a water powered motorbike would there? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3169716/Motorcycle-runs-water-polluted-river-travel-310-miles-single-litre.html

                • Scradje

                  As if someone with your level of literacy attended Oxford! You wouldn’t even get into Brookes.

                • Darren Lovegrove

                  i wasnt one of the ‘fools on the hill’

                • Waykent

                  Your comens prove your lack of education.

                • Jake Spooz

                  Please provide proof.

                • Jake Spooz

                  So do yours, gay boy.

                • Jake Spooz

                  What’s a “comens”?
                  Autocorrect have you stumped again.

                • Darren Lovegrove

                  my comens? pot calling the kettle black as you cant even command basic literacy

                • retona4

                  Autocorrect.

                • Wessex Man

                  Oxford Primary School.

                • Caviar luvvie

                  You mean the Warneford Hospital, which opened as the Oxford Lunatic Asylum?

                • Waykent

                  Please, provide proof.

                • Cyril Sneer

                  “It is obvious that you have not enjoyed the benefits of a tertiary education”

                  I think what you mean is that he hasn’t received his FSB ‘education’ like you have.

                • Scradje

                  FSB? Are you of all people, Mr Sneer accusing me of being a pro-FSB putlerite? Has the new year imbibing made you take leave of your senses?

                • Caviar luvvie

                  back to your padded cell now, playtime is over, time for the little pill

                • Darren Lovegrove

                  wow you are trolling me, bring it on, you obviously havent got anything better to do with your time, either that or your lapping up the BBC propaganda like most of the others on this thread

                • Wessex Man

                  Pot, kettle, black sunshine.

                • Darren Lovegrove

                  wasnt talking you you arsehole

                • Waykent

                  Nothing you say remotely sounds sane. Ergo, you are insane.

            • Waykent

              What is a terrorists ion?

            • Wessex Man

              If I were a neighbour of yours, I would demand my right to bear arms!

    • Caviar luvvie

      It’s nice that insane asylums for the progressive mentally challenged, allow internet time.

      • Darren Lovegrove

        watch any of his speeches, Mr A was a true humanitarian. iod find you a transcript if i thought you could be bothered reading it

  • pattif

    The trouble with your final paragraph is that, sadly, David Cameron is no Margaret Thatcher.

  • Tamerlane

    Be that as it may, Britain is a side show on the international stage these days, spread so thin over its commitments that an aggressive regional power can easily outmanoeuvre us. What matters is American foreign policy and specifically Obama’s weakness and refusal to implement a muscular foreign agenda in advance of US interests. That’s not going to change before November this year for obvious reasons, Obama will sit out 2016 with as little foreign engagement as he possible. The determining factor will be who succeeds him and what their policy is – only the USA has the military and economic might to punish Iran, Russia and others.

  • Caviar luvvie

    Trust ANY extremist Muslim country at your own peril.
    Let them finish each other off – it’s the only thing they actually contribute to humanity today.

    • jim

      …any MUSLIM country…

  • Mow_the_Grass

    IS is a ‘nice’ counterbalance to Hezbollah – in Syria
    Sunni/Wahabi vz Shia/Alawite.
    Let them fight each other to a standstill.
    What’s not to like.

    • Greenslime

      There is no such thing as a nice counterbalance in the Middle East. This is about control by one or other nation to be the ‘local superpower’. They have chosen to do battle in the form of savages who use (slightly) different versions of a medieval book to inform and direct their day to day activities. They will continue to slaughter each other until one finally says “enough”. Even then, it probably won’t end the fighting. It has been going on for thousands of years and, no doubt, will continue for a good while longer. And the smashing thing is that it is, apparently, all our fault.

    • Cyril Sneer

      Rather the shia than the sunnis.

      Rather secular dictators than wahabbi headcutting nuttery.

      • Daidragon

        Correct Cyril. We need to fundamentally rethink our foreign policy priorities.

        • dickhut

          In an oil-free world, Saudi Arabia would find its rightful reputation as a pariah state.

        • Makroon

          We have none – except to follow wherever the US leads.
          Our only “interest” in Syria, is to squash Daesh, the rest is Tugendhat twaddle (Daesh use mostly US manufactured weapons).
          After the nuclear agreement with Iran, Kerry hastened to Israel and Saudi – to assure them of US intentions to “regime-change” Syria as the quid pro quo. Suddenly, Israel and Saudi went quiet, Daesh made no threats against Israel (unlike Al Qaeda), until very recently. The US campaign against Daesh proceeded slowly, carefully modulated to achieve the prime aim – regime change in Syria, to a compliant Sunni regime.
          The US has learnt nothing – it is still trying to manipulate an area rife with sectarian divisions and to remove the few secular states (Saddam, Mubarak, Al Assad).
          The US talked the Shah into an alliance with Israel, leading directly to the current Iranian hostility to Israel.
          Now they seem intent on repeating the same foolishness with the Saudi rulers.

      • https://chaunceytinker.wordpress.com/ Chauncey Tinker

        Regardless of what realpolitik we are following, the idea of Iran with nuclear weapons surely is a terrifying prospect. The Saudis would start demanding their own nuclear weapons, maybe Turkey as well.

  • thomasaikenhead

    Actually, Tom it is Saudi Arabia that has been at war with the UK and the Saudi support for IS is just the latest example of this fact.

    Iran signed the P5+1 deal with the major powers and is implementing all its obligations while Saudi Arabia, the country that supplied virtually all the bombers of the 9/11 atrocities in the US, continues to fund and support jihadis attacking innocents and conducting terrorist atrocities in Europe!

    Oppose Iran and you are supporting IS!

    • Wessex Man

      There I was thinking it was Iran and the Saudi Arabian loony tunes that have been financing their puppets/muppets for generations.

    • Clive

      This is what he was talking about. The Iranians have been specifically trying to kill our people for a lot longer than the Sunnis

      From 2005:
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4320818.stm
      …An armour-piercing version of the bomb – blamed for the deaths of eight British soldiers this year – marks the latest advance in the insurgents’ arsenal.

      The UK has accused Iran of supplying the new weapon to militants in southern Iraq, via the Lebanese Hezbollah militia group, although Tehran has denied this….

      • Richard Baranov

        It depends where you start. The Muslim invaders of medieval Europe were Sunni, the people that offed General Gordon whilst clutching his bible were Sunni. I cannot recall a war on us by Shia except when we have interfered with them in their own homeland. The Shia, unlike the Sunni, rampaging over the planet knocking of peoples heads, do not do Jihad in quite the same way.

  • Steve Ness

    ‘By smuggling weapons into Bahrain and Kuwait to encourage violence, he’s trying to force the Royal Navy from its principal base in the Persian Gulf’

    The governments in Bahrain and Kuwait are a pretty nasty lot, no violence needs to be encouraged, just move the base if we have to. Overall, perhaps Iran hasn’t been angelic but they are not blowing up civilians in the west or cutting of the heads off aid workers as the Gulf-state backed Sunni terrorists do.

    • thomasaikenhead

      Excellent comment and great analysis!

    • Clive

      The government in Iran are a nasty lot – especially Ali Khamenei and the Theocrats (there’s got to be a rock group in there)

      We focus on the few beheadings in Saudi Arabia and miss the 700+ executions in Iran. In 2015, Saudi Arabia executed about 200 people

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/25/saudi-arabia-executed-175-people-amnesty-international
      …The report said at least 102 people had been put to death in the first six months of 2015, compared with 90 across the whole of 2014….

      https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/07/irans-staggering-execution-spree/
      …The Iranian authorities are believed to have executed an astonishing 694 people between 1 January and 15 July 2015, said Amnesty International today, in an unprecedented spike in executions in the country.

      This is equivalent to executing more than three people per day. At this shocking pace, Iran is set to surpass the total number of executions in the country recorded by Amnesty International for the whole of last year [which was 2014]….

      • Steve Ness

        I know about that and its shocking but perhaps the reason we focus on the Saudi’s is because we have a closer relationship with them, we sell them guns, train their special forces etc, in other words, we contribute to their tyranny.

      • Copyright101

        Meanwhile, in the real world, Iranian backed militias fight ISIS every day while ISIS attack westerners, Christians and Shia. Whose side are you on?

        • sonofseawolf

          So youre saying iran v. Saudi in a proxi war on Syrian land?

          Protect yourself at all times 14 5

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