After President Donald Trump’s decision to authorize the assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in the airstrike heard around the world late Thursday, US allies are warning against any further escalation of the conflict with Iran, Business Insider reports.
It turns out that not only did Trump order the airstrike without congressional approval, but it was reportedly launched without consulting US allies. And now several of those allies are understandably unhappy.
Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary of State representing the UK, said that while they “recognized the aggressive threat posed by the Iranian Quds force led by Qasem Soleimani,” it urged “all parties to de-escalate.”
He added that “further conflict is in none of our interests.”
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, echoed Raab’s sentiments, calling on the UK government to “stand up to the belligerent actions and rhetoric coming from the United States.” He continued: “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.”
Raab’s predecessor Jeremy Hunt told the BBC on Saturday that Trump was engaging in an “increasingly dangerous game of chicken” with Iran and Tom Tugendhat, Raab’s Conservative Party colleague and the chair of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, exclaimed that “the purpose of having allies is that we can surprise our enemies and not each other.” He added that “it’s been a pattern, sadly, which has been a bit of a shame, that the US administration of late has not shared with us and that is a matter of concern. “I would urge the US administration to share much more closely with allies, particularly those who are fighting alongside in the region, including us.”
Joining the UK in their concern and condemnation of Trump’s actions are the French government and, to a lesser degree, Germany.
The secretary of state for European affairs, Amélie de Montchalin, told a French radio station that what the US is doing is dangerous.
“What is happening is what we feared: Tensions between the United States and Iran are increasing,” Montchalin told RTL, according to Reuters and The Guardian. She also said that “at [the] European level, we have to work in collective multilateral frameworks and prevent the powers, one against the other, from playing their game in an unpredictable manner.”
Now the German government does seem to blame the situation mostly on Iran. Spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said on Friday, “The American action was a reaction to a series of military provocations for which Iran is responsible.” However, just like the UK and French officials, she warns against any further conflict and appears to wag her finger at the US government’s part in everything saying, “We stand before a dangerous escalation.”
The only US ally that seems to be standing behind Trump’s actions unequivocally is Israel. From Business Insider:
In a statement on Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “just as Israel has the right of self-defense, the United States has exactly the same right.”
Soleimani “is responsible for the death of American citizens and many other innocent people,” Netanyahu said. “He was planning more such attacks.”
He added: “President Trump deserves all the credit for acting swiftly, forcefully and decisively. Israel stands with the United States in its just struggle for peace, security and self-defense.”
If you ask me, Netanyahu is basically just towing Trump’s narrative. But what is clear is that Trump, and by extension the US, is alienating most of its main allies in a fight we don’t want to find ourselves alone in should tensions escalate and spiral out of control.