Who needs proof? Britain believes US claims on Iran because ‘they’re our closest ally’
Ass-covering diplomatic doublespeak was in evidence when the UK’s foreign secretary was asked whether he shared the US view that Iran was behind an attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
On the BBC’s Today programme on Friday morning Jeremy Hunt was asked: “You backed the US assessment that Iran is behind this attack. Do you have independent evidence of that?”
Hunt replied: “We are going to make our own independent assessment, we have our processes to do that.”
You’ll notice the distinct absence of the word ‘yes’ in his reply. Cynical observers may suggest that the UK doesn’t fully back America’s claims on this one, but is in no place to say so explicitly and publicly.
Why would Britain be so quick to get behind allegations from Washington that could potentially trigger a new Middle East war? Well, Hunt explained that as well.
He said: “We have no reason not to believe the American assessment. And our instinct is to believe it because they are our closest ally.”
So, the British government’s stance on this one is to believe Washington not because there is any definitive proof, but because they are “our closest ally”. That’s the kind of loyalty money can buy.
Also the term “we have no reason not to believe” is in no way the same as saying ‘we definitely do believe,’ it’s that diplomatic speak again which means ‘we can’t be sure either way, but we’re going to back America until we’re forced not to.’
Maybe we have entered a brand new period of the politics of “instinct”, more specifically the ‘survival instinct’ because kind words for Iran, when the US is using every chance to undermine it, could be extremely expensive.
Hunt did at least make a small attempt to hedge his bets by insisting: “Iran is a great country, and no one has a problem with them being a regional power.”
By Simon Rite
See also nrk.no