- The US’ top allies, including the UK and France, have continued to back away from President Donald Trump following the US military’s assassination of top Iranian general Qassim Soleimani on Friday.
- Some European allies argue the US’s dramatic escalation of conflict with Iran will benefit the Islamic State, increase the risk of terror attacks in Europe, and undermine global economic growth.
- A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a conservative ally of Trump’s, said the US president’s recent threat to target “Iranian culture” sites would constitute a war crime.
- On Monday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called for “restraint and de-escalation” and said a new conflict with Iran “would be in no one’s interest.”
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lashed out at the Europeans during an interview on Friday and claimed the US strike against Iran “saved lives in Europe as well.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The United States’ top allies, including the UK and France, have abandoned President Donald Trump over his decision to assassinate Iran’s most powerful military commander, Qassim Soleimani.
Some European allies argue the US’s dramatic escalation of conflict with Iran will benefit the Islamic State — in part because the US-led coalition has frozen its operations against ISIS in Iraq following the US attack.
“You must always ask who is served by and who profits from this instability,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in a Monday radio interview. “The instability in the Mideast today benefits only one organization: the Islamic State group.”
Le Maire added the conflict would “increase the terrorist threat over France and Europe” and threaten global economic growth.
A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a conservative ally of Trump’s, said the US president’s recent threat to target “Iranian culture” sites would constitute a war crime.
Trump promised to bomb dozens of targets in Iran if the country retaliates against the US.
“There are international conventions in place that prevent the destruction of cultural heritage,” a representative for Johnson said on Monday, adding, “You can read the international conventions for themselves. It is the 1954 Hague Convention for the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict.”
On Friday, UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement that an escalating conflict with Iran “is in none of our interests” and urged “all parties to de-escalate.”
Raab’s predecessor Jeremy Hunt told the BBC on Saturday that Trump was engaging in an “increasingly dangerous game of chicken” with Iran, with both sides doing “increasingly extreme things.”
British officials also expressed concern that US allies weren’t given a heads-up before the strike, which killed Soleimani and a top Iraqi commander.
The French minister for European affairs, Amélie de Montchalin, told reporters on Friday, “We have woken up to a more dangerous world.”
“What is happening is what we feared: Tensions between the United States and Iran are increasing,” Montchalin said.
On Monday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called for “restraint and de-escalation.”
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“A new conflict would be in no one’s interest,” he said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lashed out at the Europeans during an interview on Friday.
“Frankly, the Europeans haven’t been as helpful as I wish that they could be,” Pompeo told Fox News. “The Brits, the French, the Germans all need to understand that what we did, what the Americans did, saved lives in Europe as well.”
Israel is the only top US ally to support Trump’s attack on Iran.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has long treated Iran as an existential threat to Israel, praised Trump’s move, saying the president “deserves all the credit for acting swiftly, forcefully and decisively.”
Adam Bienkov and John Haltiwanger contributed to this report.
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