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Dr Kate Hudson
CND General Secretary
Kate Hudson has been General Secretary of CND since September 2010. Prior to this she served as the organisation's Chair from 2003. She is a leading anti-nuclear and anti-war campaigner nationally and internationally.

No war on Iran

The US killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and six others in a drone strike in Iraq was an act of state terrorism – extra-judicial killings that are illegal under international law. The US acted as a rogue state and our government’s support for this crime – on the basis of the US right to self-defence – makes a mockery of international legal norms.

Trump’s most recent statement – of 52 targets in the event of any Iranian retaliation – is shocking in the extreme, exposing the true level of barbarism of the Trump administration and putting him on a par with the Taliban and ISIL in terms of their war crimes against historic and cultural sites. The targets, says Trump, include ‘some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture.’

We remember the global horror at the Taliban’s destruction, in 2001, of the 6th century Buddhas of Bamyan, protected by UNESCO world heritage status. That atrocity was intensified a hundred-fold by the subsequent actions of ISIL in Iraq, Syria and Libya. They destroyed countless cultural and religious sites, libraries, statuary and artifacts; the devastating and irreplaceable loss of a significant part of our shared global heritage.

Going down this same path, Trump has reached new depths of degradation. Each and every one of us must be mobilised in whatever way we can to oppose these atrocities.

Meanwhile, social media talks of World War 3, as Trump’s political assassinations further destabilise the region. Maybe that is a premature speculation, but it is not without possibility. We should be in no doubt that the US has created the conditions for a much wider conflict, and their actions must be condemned by the entire international community.

The Middle East has been a war zone since the US/UK-led war on Iraq in 2003 – a war for oil and strategic regional control – justified by lies and trumped-up charges. At that time, Bush and Blair’s case for war was based on supposed Iraqi possession of WMD, a false accusation. They soon moved to accuse Iran of similar crimes, relating to nuclear weapons. IAEA inspectors proved that false, but since those days, the US has pursued that track in order to have an excuse to bring Iran down. With the signing of the Iran nuclear deal, the US could no longer ratchet up tensions against Iran on that basis, so it didn’t take long for the US to withdraw from the deal, attempting to destroy the Iranian economy. Now they have simply resorted to murder, to provoke Iran and drive the region to war.

The great danger now is that Iran will finally decide that it needs to develop nuclear weapons to ensure its own security – much as North Korea did when it found itself part of Bush’s Axis of Evil. It is profoundly to be hoped that it does not do so.

If the international community values peace and security – and indeed the future of our planet – then it must act to reign in Trump and put a stop to his fast track to disaster.

Our movement has opposed a war on Iran since it was first mooted after the disastrous attack on Iraq. Because of the strength and scale of the peace and anti-war movement at that time, we were able to get war off the agenda. But now it’s back, and we must step up to the plate, nationally and internationally. Putting pressure on our government to oppose war on Iran is the key first step.

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