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Sat, 28 March 2020

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Jeremy Corbyn warns of lack of 'credible evidence' over Iran tanker attack allegations

Jeremy Corbyn warns of lack of 'credible evidence' over Iran tanker attack allegations
2 min read

Jeremy Corbyn has suggested the Government and United States lack “credible evidence” that Iran is behind attacks on two oil tankers.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said Tehran is “almost certainly” responsible for the suspected limpet mine attacks in the Gulf of Oman. 

But the Labour leader last night said the government risked a military escalation.

Mr Corbyn tweeted: “Britain should act to ease tensions in the Gulf, not fuel a military escalation that began with US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement.

“Without credible evidence about the tanker attacks, the government’s rhetoric will only increase the threat of war.”

That prompted an angry response from Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is among those vying to succeed Theresa May as Tory leader.

Mr Hunt said Mr Corbyn's comments had been "pathetic and predictable."

He added: "From Salisbury to the Middle East, why can he never bring himself to back British allies, British intelligence or British interests?"

Statements from Mr Hunt and the Foreign Office followed the US military’s release of video footage which it said proved the Iranian regime was behind the attacks. 

Mr Hunt said yesterday: "Our own assessment leads us to conclude that responsibility for the attacks almost certainly lies with Iran.

"These latest attacks build on a pattern of destabilising Iranian behaviour and pose a serious danger to the region."

The UK is working on “diplomatic solutions” to “de-escalate tensions”, he added.

Thursday’s suspected attacks came after four incidents in the Arabian Gulf last month, which an FCO spokesperson described as “sabotage operations” against commercial ships that the government is “confident” Iran was behind.

Mr Corbyn has previously attracted criticism from some of his own MPs after warning against “hasty judgements” following last year’s nerve agent attack in Salisbury, which the Government blamed on the Russian state.

The Labour said six months later that the evidence “clearly” points to the Russian state.

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