Statement from the Foreign Secretary : Qasem Soleimani Attack Watch

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Andrew97
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Statement from the Foreign Secretary: Qasem Soleimani Attack
In the aftermath of the US Strike in Baghdad, the Government would like to express our aim to see tensions de-escalated as fast as possible, without a bloodbath for the innocent citizens in the area.

General Soleimani was a dangerous criminal who we hold no sympathy for, however we would encourage against continuation of attacks and conflict which risk escalating tensions in a dangerous region.

I have spoken with Secretary Pompeo to discuss the motive behind the attack and express my concern for the safety of our citizens, and others, at home and abroad. We will continue to work bilaterally with the US and Iran in the aim of cooling tensions and keeping people safe.
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SoggyCabbages
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Not even going to advise British nationals not to travel to the region?
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BosslyGaming
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(Original post by SoggyCabbages)
Not even going to advise British nationals not to travel to the region?
I have had multiple meetings throughout the day to discuss this situation and the Foreign Office will be releasing a detailed travel advice briefing tomorrow morning. In the meantime, obviously, I would advise all British citizens to be careful where they travel during this period of unrest and avoid travelling to any areas of danger. Emergency information, as always, is available now on the FCO website.
Last edited by BosslyGaming; 1 month ago
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LiberOfLondon
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Add a condemnation of the terrorists trying to seize the American embassy in Baghdad and I will support this statement.
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Rakas21
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Mr Speaker, this statement seems rushed and undeveloped.

What is the governments position on Iran extending its influence through Iraq, Syria and its ties to Russia. Does the government believe that violent Iranian generals should not be executed of possible. Does the government value our US alliance. Why is this our problem? Is the government overreacting since Iran will struggle to strike back effectively. Does the government wish to persue Iranian oil?
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by BosslyGaming)
I have had multiple meetings throughout the day to discuss this situation and the Foreign Office will be releasing a detailed travel advice briefing tomorrow morning. In the meantime, obviously, I would advise all British citizens to be careful where they travel during this period of unrest and avoid travelling to any areas of danger. Emergency information, as always, is available now on the FCO website.
Why only British citizens but not non-citizen nationals?

But I suppose, the better question is: Will you be evacuating nationals from Iraq (and perhaps other countries in the region, including but not exclusively Iran and the UAE), will you be closing down or minimizing diplomatic missions, and what will happen to the troops in the region?

And are you not going to discuss with regional partners such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain?
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BosslyGaming
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Mr Speaker, this statement seems rushed and undeveloped.

What is the governments position on Iran extending its influence through Iraq, Syria and its ties to Russia. Does the government believe that violent Iranian generals should not be executed of possible. Does the government value our US alliance. Why is this our problem? Is the government overreacting since Iran will struggle to strike back effectively. Does the government wish to persue Iranian oil?
This statement was intentionally quick, I just want to clarify that. This was released for the purpose of outlining the government's instant response to the strike and our position on the conflict. This statement is not one on Iran itself, hence why the Rt Hon. Member's questions were not touched upon. Such questions can be asked here (though they may not be relevant to the topic of the statement) or through AtG.

That said, the member has asked those questions and warrants my response to them which I will give tomorrow - I just wanted to clarify the intent of this statement for those who expect it to talk directly about Iran.
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Mr Speaker, this statement seems rushed and undeveloped.

What is the governments position on Iran extending its influence through Iraq, Syria and its ties to Russia. Does the government believe that violent Iranian generals should not be executed of possible. Does the government value our US alliance. Why is this our problem? Is the government overreacting since Iran will struggle to strike back effectively. Does the government wish to persue Iranian oil?
I would also add that we still have issues with Iran holding British citizens in their country.
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BosslyGaming
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(Original post by Baron of Sealand)
Why only British citizens but not non-citizen nationals?

But I suppose, the better question is: Will you be evacuating nationals from Iraq (and perhaps other countries in the region, including but not exclusively Iran and the UAE), will you be closing down or minimizing diplomatic missions, and what will happen to the troops in the region?

And are you not going to discuss with regional partners such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain?
On the first point, poor choice of dialogue and I offer my apologies to the house for that. I, of course, mean all nationals. As for the other points, I appreciate the Leader of the Opposition for raising them and, similar to the Shadow Chancellor above, I will respond tomorrow.
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by BosslyGaming)
On the first point, poor choice of dialogue and I offer my apologies to the house for that. I, of course, mean all nationals. As for the other points, I appreciate the Leader of the Opposition for raising them and, similar to the Shadow Chancellor above, I will respond tomorrow.
Thank you for this. I look forward to reading your responses.
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SacreBlan
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Hear, hear. Personally I think that this attack shows the recklessness of the Cheeto face, beer belly bum of a President across the Atlantic. With no warning to the UK government of the strikes, he has put British troops and citizens at risk.
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Jammy Duel
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If the government really desire there not to be a bloodbath might I suggest they stand behind our US allies in opposition to the Iranian regime instead of saying they should back out entirely and let Iran do as they wish?
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SnowMiku
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The quickness of the statement was appreciated, and esp. the part about de-escalating tensions. I believe the government should support mediation and a non-brutal way of sorting this out. It's doable if we all just think.

The USA is noted to have a very rash leader who sometimes says stupid things and therefore his decisions aren't the best at times, and has potentially escalated the war by bombing out of nowhere. Surely, the UN should start getting involved? This war has to end ASAP.

Like every war, this is just a war against a select few people in power, with people and armies used as bargaining chips. Heck, the news is saying that this is the start of a US vs Iran war, and since it'll inevitably bring in other nations, well... I don't need to say what WW3 will be fought with.

My point is that this is how edit: world wars happen. One incident sets them off.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by SnowMiku)
The quickness of the statement was appreciated, and esp. the part about de-escalating tensions. I believe the government should support mediation and a non-brutal way of sorting this out. It's doable if we all just think.

The USA is noted to have a very rash leader who sometimes says stupid things and therefore his decisions aren't the best at times, and has potentially escalated the war by bombing out of nowhere. Surely, the UN should start getting involved? This war has to end ASAP.

Like every war, this is just a war against a select few people in power, with people and armies used as bargaining chips. Heck, the news is saying that this is the start of a US vs Iran war, and since it'll inevitably bring in other nations, well... I don't need to say what WW3 will be fought with.

My point is that this is how edit: world wars happen. One incident sets them off.
The UN is flaccid.

People are far too fearful of a major war.
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SnowMiku
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(Original post by Rakas21)
The UN is flaccid.

People are far too fearful of a major war.
I know they're not THAT powerful, but it's every single goddamn nation and it's their job to ensure peace as much as they can
TBH I don't think we're too fearful, it's very much warranted.

I mean, we only escaped being nuked already by one sea captain's decision. WW1 and 2 started from one single incident (Franz Ferninand and Treaty of Versailles respectively). It's completely fair to suggest this might start another.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by SnowMiku)
I know they're not THAT powerful, but it's every single goddamn nation and it's their job to ensure peace as much as they can
TBH I don't think we're too fearful, it's very much warranted.

I mean, we only escaped being nuked already by one sea captain's decision. WW1 and 2 started from one single incident (Franz Ferninand and Treaty of Versailles respectively). It's completely fair to suggest this might start another.
The UN has no power at all. When it sends peacekeepers its largely US forces and equipped.

The first was an error and the later a different age. Iran does not have the ability to survive a war with the US (nor the ability to get its nukes to the US) and it is highly unlikely that Russia would choose to join them directly given that they also could not wage war.

Iran at worst will bomb an embassy, the US is unlikely to invade. I’d be more worried about Saudi and Iran going at it.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by SnowMiku)
The quickness of the statement was appreciated, and esp. the part about de-escalating tensions. I believe the government should support mediation and a non-brutal way of sorting this out. It's doable if we all just think.

The USA is noted to have a very rash leader who sometimes says stupid things and therefore his decisions aren't the best at times, and has potentially escalated the war by bombing out of nowhere. Surely, the UN should start getting involved? This war has to end ASAP.

Like every war, this is just a war against a select few people in power, with people and armies used as bargaining chips. Heck, the news is saying that this is the start of a US vs Iran war, and since it'll inevitably bring in other nations, well... I don't need to say what WW3 will be fought with.

My point is that this is how edit: world wars happen. One incident sets them off.
So the West sits by and does nothing and what happens next?

And the UN is there for people who don't realise that the UN is totally powerless, it will in due course be shown to be just another league of nations totally incapable of stopping anything, any enforcement power comes from the individual member states, in other words everybody just ignores what the UN says.

It was hardly a bombing out of nowhere, you assassinate targets such as this when you have an opportunity and you definitely don't warn people because that's how they get away, you might not have been paying too much attention over the last 6 months but Iran has been doing a lot of sabre rattling with multiple attacks on Western oil and personnel, with particular escalation of the latter in recent weeks.

You don't need to say what WWIII will be fought with, we all know that this will not lead to WWIII and if there is a war it will be conventional arms, if Iran was anywhere near actually having a nuclear bomb it wouldn't have a nuclear program anymore.

"This war" will not end until either the theocratic dictatorship in Iran is toppled, or they get their way (in which case they then move on to global power status and just export their terror across the world instead of restricting themselves to the Middle East), it does not end up in a World War because last I checked it took more than two countries to be a world war, or more than a single alliance vs a single country, who is going to be dragged in on the Iranian side? Assad is a bit busy, China and Russia have both indicated they don't care, you certainly aren't looking at any of the developed world, Africa is too busy fighting itself, Pakistan won't want to get on the wrong side of America any more than they already have, it would be Iran being dogpiled.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by SnowMiku)
I know they're not THAT powerful, but it's every single goddamn nation and it's their job to ensure peace as much as they can
TBH I don't think we're too fearful, it's very much warranted.

I mean, we only escaped being nuked already by one sea captain's decision. WW1 and 2 started from one single incident (Franz Ferninand and Treaty of Versailles respectively). It's completely fair to suggest this might start another.
You really need to go back and study your history books closer if you think the world wars were that simple, you might get a simplistic reason presented at school but that's school, you wouldn't get whole books written on the subject if it were that simple. In fact it is so complex that the theories surrounding the true causes of WWI have changed over time and almost certainly will change in future. If you're going to blame WWII on versailles we can blame WWI on another event that happened at the Palace of Versailles in 1871: the unification of Germany. You have the realignment in Europe for the 40 years after that, primarily Germany breaking their ties with Russia in favour of Austria-Hungary (and in turn Russia going with France which made war inevitable as soon as either force mobilised against Germany, more on that later).

You had a series of events that further degraded relations between the opposing powers, France and Germany have never got on well, the First Moroccan Crisis made that worse, and in 5 years later the second nearly started a war. The collapse of the Ottoman Empire also created power vacuums in the Balkans and consequently the Balkan Wars which caused strain in the German - Austro-Hungarian alliance, but just like any regional war at the time you had your Great Powers getting involved and naturally of particular interest to Russia and the alliance between France and Russia was strengthened.

You also have us sat on the sideline, mother to most of the European Monarchies and our decision to get involved, and get involved against Germany to protect the neutrality of an irrelevance.

You also have suggestions, although not necessarily the strongest, that from the British side it was about stopping the German Navy getting too strong (and if you want to go down the naval arms race line we have a lot of blame to carry for building HMS Dreadnought), Germany to distract from domestic issues (like Argentina and their posturing over the Falklands), and Austria-Hungary to try to hold the Empire together.

As for the importance of Franz Ferdinand today, it's widely recognised that actually he wasn't that important and the Austro-Hungarians weren't exactly sad to see him killed, in fact when you look at the timeline the immediate reaction was to do nothing and opt for patience, the planning of the war took several weeks and one could argue that it was this delay that is heavily responsible, it gave time for the Russians (and the French) to issue their own ultimatums over Serbia, and naturally they had to follow through.

And now back to the mobilisation. AJP Taylor had a theory about the start of WWI, the railways and the timetabling of troop movements made the war inevitable as soon as something started the move to mobilisation. Come the early 20th century mobilisation was no longer hard and time consuming, it was something that could be done in days rather than weeks and he argued that the general thinking was that rapid mobilisation would deter war because the fastest to mobilise wins (this in tandem with the thinking in the build up to the war that any war would be quick). Germany had a unique problem, because of the realignment of Germany away from Russia and the following alignment of Russia with France Germany faced the prospect of a war on two fronts, because of this Germany could not afford to mobilise its forces and wait to see if war happened because should it be war and not just mobilisation they have a problem, consequently, the theory goes, that for Germany there was no partial mobilisation, it was instead full mobilisation and war; the entire German force would have to be mobilised to win a swift victory over France before being redeployed in the East to hold off the Russians who will have needed to wait a few days to go from partial mobilisation to full mobilisation and deployment, a few critical days for the war with France.

TL;DR the causes of WWI and WWII are far more complex than you're taught about in school.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by SnowMiku)
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AAANNNNDDD if you really want to go for WWI/II parallels are you not suggesting the WWII approach: appease the evil and hope the LoN sorts it all out and stops the bad man?

And unlike appeasement before WWII "we" don't need time to build up our forces ready for war, the Americans are more than ready to carpet bomb Iran into dust.
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by BosslyGaming)
I have had multiple meetings throughout the day to discuss this situation and the Foreign Office will be releasing a detailed travel advice briefing tomorrow morning. In the meantime, obviously, I would advise all British citizens to be careful where they travel during this period of unrest and avoid travelling to any areas of danger. Emergency information, as always, is available now on the FCO website.
Tomorrow morning has been and gone. Where is this detailed travel advice briefing. I do hope one has not intentionally misled the House about their intentions.
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