The assassination of Qasem Soleimani and US threats of war are an escalation of years of crippling sanctions on Iran, and the legacy of the illegal Iraq War, which has resulted in the continued presence of US troops and private military companies in the region. It is ordinary people who paid the price of this war. It is ordinary people who will pay the price of this escalation.
US President Donald Trump’s threat to attack Iranian cultural sites is a potential war crime, and has been widely criticised. This condemnation must be extended to a total rejection of military attacks, and the death and destruction this would cause.
Over the past months, people in Iraq, Iran and around the region have risen up in popular protest against economic injustice and state repression. The threat of war and occupation risks these demands for justice being silenced.
The UK is not an innocent bystander: it played an active part in the Iraq War and the war crimes committed there. And the UK continues to arm and support the most repressive regimes in the region, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Israel.
For arms companies, war means profit. For ordinary people, war means devastation. The spike in share prices for weapons manufacturers during this escalation shows us exactly who benefits. We call on the UK to end its involvement in war and occupation, both through its foreign policy and the arms trade.
War on Want stands in solidarity with people in Iraq, Iran, and those around the world who are struggling for justice and dignity against repressive regimes and destructive foreign intervention.