As the US attacks Iran, are we at risk of a Third World War?

LFF speaks to Stop the War's Lindsey German on the US killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.

Anti-war campaigners have issued a stark warning over the US’ extra-judicial killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani – arguing we are at risk of a major war with global ramifications.

Lindsey German, convener of the Stop the War (StW) coalition told Left Foot Forward that the movement behind the Iraq War protests in 2003 are planning a demonstration on Saturday against military conflict with Iran – and are considering a major national march in the next couple of weeks.

“[The killing] is an act of international terrorism – it is completely dangerous and will provoke reaction from Iran and Iraq too. We’ve already seen citizens in Iraq urged to leave, [Israel’s PM] Netanyahu returning back. Any escalation will involve a wide number of powers, including Russia, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.” German said she was ‘absolutely certain’ Iran will retaliate – potentially including US targets in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

The StW convener told LFF the conflict was ‘becoming global’. “You don’t want to look at the worst case, but you can see it potentially escalating very badly. There are still US troops in Iraq, other spots around the Middle East.”

“We’ve said for years that if this [situation in the Middle East] isn’t resolved it will come to war.”

Lindsey German accepted that the UK – who might normally support joint action with the US – are ‘extremely nervous’ at the situation knowing the risk of escalation, but added: “In the end they will come in behind the Americans – which will put the UK in danger, including British lives and troops at some point in the future. We have to learn the lessons from the last interventions.”

Asked to outline a resolution to the growing conflict, German called for a complete US withdrawal from the Middle East. “They may have no choice but to leave.” However, the US is stepping up its number of troops in the Middle East.

Iran’s military is ranked as the 14th most powerful in the world, with around 900,000 potential troops at its disposal.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP said:

“The US assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani is an extremely serious and dangerous escalation of conflict in the Middle East with global significance.

“The UK government should urge restraint on the part of both Iran and the US, and stand up to the belligerent actions and rhetoric coming from the United States.

“All countries in the region and beyond should seek to ratchet down the tensions to avoid deepening conflict, which can only bring further misery to the region, 17 years on from the disastrous invasion of Iraq.”

Green MP Caroline Lucas said: “The assassination of General Soleimani is a hugely provocative act in a massively volatile region.”

Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.

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17 Responses to “As the US attacks Iran, are we at risk of a Third World War?”

  1. Michael McManus

    So Iran’s kidnapping of innocent women, attacks of shipping, daily rocket attacks of Israeli housing, backing of the worst elements among Palestinian terrorists had nothing to do with this? That was all judicial was it? Like their elections? Like their arresting, whipping, raping and hanging young women who don’t want the hijab scarf of shame. Like the 38 year sentence on the lawyer who defended those girls, a family woman who will also receive 148 lashes?

    Have you never met an Iranian exile? They are leaping for joy at the prospect of Iran provoking more attacks and the end of this filthy depraved perverted regime. There is nothing socialist, still less Labour, in that rats’ nest. Let’s hope this is goodbye.

  2. steve

    Trump is doing his bit for the weapons corporations.

    As with Bush and Blair, the only outcome will be death, instability and mayhem.

  3. Alice Aforethought

    Aaaaaaaaaaand bang on cue, the left goes in to bat for the terrorists.

    How quickly we forget!

  4. nick W

    Lindsey in her long long history in the SWP displayed a particular brand of discrimination in terms of what was acceptable in terms of violence in support of political ends, I really don’t think she has anything of value to bring to a balanced debate, continual instability and death are not a ” problem ” in the Middle East they are now and have for sometime been a fact, this act of violence may move war forward on the calendar but it will not the sole reason, we intervened in Iraq to remove a evil man and the result was chaos, we didn’t act to remove an evil man in Syria and the result has been the same, I am not sure if there is a solution but I am sure that those simply see the issue as a problem caused and sustained by the west, do not have any answers.

  5. Rico

    War is not a solution

  6. Dave Roberts

    In Stop the War and Respect Lindsey German dropped support for Gay and women’s rights to get support from Islamic extremists. She is disgusting.

  7. Alice Aforethought

    “Lindsey German dropped support for Gay and women’s rights to get support from Islamic extremists”

    It’s that leftist top trumps again. She hates the west more than she hates heterosexuals, so she prefers Islamofascist support over LGBT. There’s no actual morality at work here, it’s all about who she hates most.

  8. Michael McManus

    In 1990 I lodged two Iraqi students who had been forced out of their university hall after the Kuwait invasion. Later I worked with GW1 Arab survivors of Iraqi and Palestinian atrocities, mass rapes requiring Islamic permission for mass abortions. It never occurred to any of us that the citizens of the region would do anything other than welcome liberation from tyrants and willingly embrace democracy. We really were completely ignorant of sectarian hatred between Shia and Sunni, and of the other groups. The point Nick makes above is down to that: whatever we do or not do is insignificant beside Islam’s historic hatreds. Even in the UK Muslims are more likely to be assaulted and murdered by their own faith than by anyone else. (The same applies in Israel as Maysaloun Hamoud’s film (In Between) showed. Naturally, she got a fatwa and death threats, proving her point).

    Things are different in Iran, or Persia as exiles call it. They don’t give a damn for Islam there and have to be forced to conform. They have an earlier and intelligent religion with a morality that can be respected. There’s just a chance the regime will see it’s vulnerability and hold off. Trump has shown courage at last, listened to his military, and wiped the reputation for cowardice and appeasement that Obama’s BS left behind.

    War, properly conducted, is the only way to peace as our defeat of fascism in Europe and Argentina, and the liberation of Kuwait showed. Trump should not wait for retaliation but press on and eliminate hezbollah and the RG entirely while getting weapons to Iranian dissidents if he can.

  9. Joe

    Well done Donald Trump.

    Islamofascism is the biggest threat to the world today.

  10. Tom Sacold

    I find it rather odd that we have various Labour MPs and others on the left coming out in support of a regime that denies ordinary human rights to women and executes gay people !!!

  11. steve

    @ Tom Sacold. Yes, it’s unbelievable. Only the other day Radio 5 presenters were bigging-up Saudi Arabia as a holiday destination.

    Also, female and gay Labour MPs failed to back the Corbyn initiated Bill that would have halted further arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

    We need an alternative to the LibLabCon pro-war parties.

  12. steve

    Joe: “Islamofascism is the biggest threat to the world today.”

    Is that why Turksish NATO forces destroyed the secular Kurdish enclave in north Syria?

    Let’s not forget that the Kurds did a lot of the heavy lifting in the battle to defeat ISIS. And now the Kurds are being turfed out of their homes by Jihadist militias sponsored by NATO member Turkey.

    If the weapons that have gone to Saudi Arabia had been sent to the Kurds secularism would have had a far better chance of survival in the Middle East.

  13. Michaela

    STEVE – the Kurds are mostly Muslim – hardy secular then. They were also heavily involved in the Armenian Christian genocide of 1915 -1922 that Turkey still denies happened.

    Saudi is certainly a bad place but preferable to Iran. It does not carry out killings around the world, just on the home pitch and is needed to restrain Iran – especially at the moment in Yemen. The sauds have shown pragmatism on occasion – as when they joined the liberation of Kuwait. Their troops led the victory march into Kuwait city in 1991 and were trusted with stopping the massacre of Palestinian collaborators who had joined in the rapes of Kuwaiti women, girls and boys.
    They are thought to have understandings with Israel as Egypt does that might bring peace at some distant date.
    Halting arms sales would be pointless – loss of jobs here and they’ll get them somewhere else. We have to recognise that realpolitik is sometimes our best option (though with a heavy heart).

  14. steve

    Goodness! The Trumpettes are out in force.

    As for Kurdish secularism, try this: “Kurdistan remains a society of many religions and beliefs, but it has held together as a nation because of its strong secular identity. ”–essential-to-Kurdish-identity

    I totally understand the weepy, mayhem instigating Blairite attitude: we have to sell arms to Saudi Arabia because of jobs. But we always sell to them with hand-wringing and a “heavy heart”. We have to bomb Iraq because we’re 45 minutes from attack. We have to turn Libya into a terrorist hell-hole because stability is the enemy. We have to destroy the Kurds because an example of good governance in the Middle East cannot be allowed to stand. Etc etc etc.

    As an alternative to the Trumpette idiocy on this blog, here is a sensible response from Chris Hedges, the former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times:

    “The strike may temporarily bolster the political fortunes of the two beleaguered architects of the assassination, Trump and Netanyahu, but it is an act of imperial suicide by the United States. There can be no positive outcome. It opens up the possibility of an Armageddon-type scenario relished by the lunatic fringes of the Christian right.

    “Trump and Netanyahu, as well as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, are mired in scandal. They believe a new war would divert attention from their foreign and domestic crises. But they have no more rational strategy for war with Iran than they did for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria.

    “They need a scapegoat. It is Iran.”


  15. Michaela

    Steve. I expect you are familiar with the phrase ‘useful idiot’.

  16. steve

    Michaela, remind me, how successful was the invasion of Iraq in bringing a new, democratic dawn to the Middle East? Has the removal of Gaddafi brought prosperity and stability to ordinary Libyans? Has the never-ending, objective-free deployment in Afghanistan secured a worthwhile outcome. Has support for Jihadist militias in Syria delivered a better future for Syrians.?

    Is the West any safer as a consequence of these lunatic military interventions?

  17. a proper human

    the amount of ignorance and BS in the comments is incredible, violence begets violence, we cannot continue to bring peace with bombs. Wake the F&*( up

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