Iran Focus: London, Dec. 20 British Prime Minister Tony Blair accused Iran on Wednesday of “openly supporting terrorism in Iraq to stop a fledgling democratic process”. Iran Focus
London, Dec. 20 British Prime Minister Tony Blair accused Iran on Wednesday of “openly supporting terrorism in Iraq to stop a fledgling democratic process”.
In a speech to business leaders in Dubai at the end of a six-day tour of the Middle East, Blair said Tehran was at the heart of a “monumental struggle” between the forces of moderation and extremism around the world.
Elements of the Iranian government were “trying to turn out a democratically elected Government in Lebanon, flaunting the international community’s desire for peace in Palestine – at the same time as denying the Holocaust and trying to acquire a nuclear weapon capability”, Blair said. “And yet a huge part of world opinion is frankly almost indifferent. It would be bizarre if it weren’t so deadly serious”.
“We have in my view to wake up. These forces of extremism – based on a warped and wrong-headed misinterpretation of Islam – aren’t fighting a conventional war, but they are fighting one against us, ‘us’ being not just the West, still less simply America and its allies, but ‘us’, as all those worldwide who believe in tolerance, respect for others and liberty”, he said.
The British Prime Minister called on the international community to “mobilise” its alliance of moderation in the Middle East and the wider world to “defeat the extremists”.
“We must ensure that everything conceivable is done to help the Afghan and Iraqi Governments achieve stability. The so-called ‘cutting and running’, to use that familiar phrase, would not just be a breach of faith. It would be disastrous for our own wider interests”.
The world “must recognise the strategic challenge the Government of Iran poses; not its people, possibly not all of its ruling elements, but those presently in charge of its policy. They seek to pin us back in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Palestine. Our response should be to expose what they are doing, build the alliances to prevent it; and pin them back across the whole of this region”, he added.