Vanessa Beeley – In the fog of political manipulation, deceit and US geopolitical grandstanding that has been the aftermath of the US criminal assassination of General Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes in Iraq, much is being misinterpreted and misrepresented by all sides.
In amongst the tragic consequences of the US lawlessness is the inevitable loss of innocent life. We have been told that Trump had threatened the Iraqi Prime Minister, Abdul Mahdi, with protests and unrest should he pursue bilateral trade initiatives with China. Trump allegedly threatened not only the lives of the Iraqi PM but also that Marine snipers would shoot protestors and Iraqi security simultaneously in order to stir up greater violence directed at the government – text book CIA meddling in the internal affairs of a prey nation.
Then came the tragic shooting down of the Ukrainian passenger jet that had taken off hours after Iran had launched missiles at the US-occupied Ayn Al Assad base in Iraq in retaliation for the murder of one of their most iconic and respected IRGC military leaders. 176 people on board, the majority Iranian or dual nationality civilians, were the victims of events that were instigated by the US when they committed an act of international terrorism on the sovereign soil of Iraq, which they have been told to leave, in no uncertain terms.
Rob Macaire is the British Ambassador in Tehran. When news broke that Macaire had been arrested for allegedly inciting anti-government sentiment in the wake of the Ukrainian jet horror, I, like many others, took it for granted that the UK was up to its usual destabilisation tricks. However, when I spoke to Peter Ford, former UK Ambassador to Bahrain and Syria, and an expert on Middle East affairs – I began to see another side to the breaking story.
When I asked Ford about Macaire, a former colleague of Ford, he told me:
“What seems to have happened here is that Macaire, as he said,looked in on the vigil and left when the chanting started. Over zealous police detained him briefly. Then the zealots in Whitehall (UK) got to work exploiting the incident to make propaganda against Iran, claiming that the Ambassador was held for three hours. What is really interesting is that in tweeting his version of events Macaire specified that he was detained for only an hour, pointedly giving the lie to the briefers and their media stenographers in London. Iran-hater Raab can’t have been pleased about that.”
The rabid and sensationalist rhetoric produced by Raab, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in Boris Johnson’s fledgling government, seems to support Ford’s hypothesis. While Macaire was clearly trying to de-escalate the situation alongside some of the Iranian government officials who were also downplaying events, Raab went on the offensive.
Raab launched a volley of criticism at Iran reeling from a series of horrific events that had flung the nation into a collective state of mourning, grief and, in some cases, misdirected rage. Raab, while proving himself a Trump acolyte, described the arrest of the British Ambassador as a “flagrant violation of international law” and claimed that Iran was “marching towards pariah status”.
The flagrant hypocrisy from Raab who failed to mention the preceding US international law violations that catapulted Iran into chaos and confusion. If any nation deserves “pariah status” right now, it is the US and its satellite states in the EU, Gulf States, Israel and Turkey.
At the same time, the Iranian deputy foreign minister, Seyed Abbas Araghchi, was trying to dampen the media fervour.
“He (Macaire) wasn’t detained, but arrested as unknown foreigner in an illegal gathering. When police informed me a man’s arrested who claims to be UK Amb, I said IMPOSSIBLE! only after my phone conversation w him I identified, out of big surprise, that it’s him. 15 min later he was free”
While Raab was doing all in his power to vilify Iran and threatening increased sanctions and further political and economic isolation for an already besieged nation, Trump was also tweeting out in Farsi – in support of the orchestrated anti-government protests in Iran. Raab made hollow calls for de-escalation while actually escalating events in lock-step with the US interference.
Raab and UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, leapt to support US criminality in the region. Johnson regurgitated Trump’s lies that justified the hit on Qasem Soleimani during his first public appearance in Parliament since the assassination. Johnson not only supported US mendacity, and their ridiculous “self-defence” justification, he added his own, claiming Soleimani “had the blood of British troops on his hands”, a singularly unsubstantiated claim. It is depressing to see the UK being led into a potential World War 3 scenario by two such ignorant, arrogant neoconservative sycophants.
Peter Ford insisted that Macaire has always been sympathetic towards Iran. Ford did not believe that Macaire would be disposed towards inciting any kind of reactionary protests as Iran mourned its losses.
The real machiavellian villains from the British side are Raab and Johnson – deliberately ramping up tensions in Iran and conditioning British public opinion against Iran so Johnson could abandon the JCPOA in favour of the “Trump deal”. There you have it, the deepest UK cut inflicted upon Iran, orchestrated by the shiny new US/Israel lickspittles in power in the UK. The Macaire “scandal” was nothing more than a useful incident for these criminals to roll out their US-aligned agenda against Iran.
First published at Press TV.