After President Trump’s alarming decision to assassinate Iran’s most power military commander, many of the United States’ top allies, including the UK and France, have chosen to abandon him.
Following the attack, the US-led coalition has halted all operations against ISIS in Iraq. This shift in the landscape has left some European allies wondering if the US’s sudden and controversial escalation of conflict with Iran will actually help the Islamic State.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in a recent radio appearance, “You must always ask who is served by and who profits from this instability… The instability in the Mideast today benefits only one organization: the Islamic State group.” Le Maire said the conflict stands to “increase the terrorist threat over France and Europe.”
One of Trump’s staunchest conservative allies has been British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and a spokesperson for him said that Trump’s threats to target and destroy Iranian culture sites would be classified as a war crime.
The representatives for Johnson said, “There are international conventions in place that prevent the destruction of cultural heritage… 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.”
UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab said that any increase in conflict with Iran “is in none of our interests” and encouraged “all parties to de-escalate.”
British officials are concerned about the attack which killed Soleimani and a top Iraqui commander, namely that US allies knew nothing of the strike beforehand.
Amélie de Montchalin, the French minister for European affairs, told reporters, “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.”
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the current situation called for “restraint and de-escalation” and that “a new conflict would be in no one’s interest,” he said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had strong words for Europeans in an appearance on Fox News, saying, “Frankly, the Europeans haven’t been as helpful as I wish that they could beThe Brits, the French, the Germans all need to understand that what we did, what the Americans did, saved lives in Europe as well.”
Only one top ally has spoken in support of Trump’s move- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the president “deserves all the credit for acting swiftly, forcefully and decisively.”