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‘US entitled to defend itself’ Britain backs Trump over Iran strike that killed Soleimani

‘US entitled to defend itself’ Britain backs Trump over Iran strike that killed Soleimani 1

In the absence of Mr Johnson, who is on a Caribbean holiday with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds, Defence minister Ben Wallace said Washington has a right to respond to earlier attacks from Iran that resulted in an assault on the US embassy in Baghdad. Mr Wallace urged all parties to show restraint following the strikes at a Baghdad airport that killed the General, but said its closest ally was entitled to defend itself against an imminent threat. Mr Wallace said in a statement that he had spoken to his US counterpart Mark Esper this afternoon.

He added: “We urge all parties to engage to de-escalate the situation.

“Under international law the United States is entitled to defend itself against those posing an imminent threat to their citizens.”

Mr Wallace has also confirmed Royal Navy ships will again be used to escort British-flagged vessels through the Strait of Hormuz.

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Navy escorts were previously used to protect merchant ships in the Gulf after the seizure of the British-owned oil tanker Stena Impero near the Strait by Iranian forces in July 2019.

Mr Wallace said: “The Government will take all necessary steps to protect our ships and citizens at this time.” He also said he had spoken with Mark Esper – his US counterpart – this afternoon. 

British forces had previously captured an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar that was accused of violating sanctions on Syria.

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Though it appears to have done nothing, after the Iraqi Prime Minister then met with the Saudi Crown Prince to discuss the ramifications of the US attack on Iran.

“Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi received a phone call from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in which they discussed the difficult conditions facing Iraq and the region,” Abdul Mahdi’s office said in a statement.

The US strike came as President Trump revealed the Iranian General had attacks planned on Washington.

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