Boris Johnson’s Failure on Iran

During Boris Johnson’s memorable first day as prime minister in the House of Commons last July, he appropriately tore into then-Labour leader and forever laughingstock Jeremy Corbyn for his sympathy toward Iran’s evil regime, bellowing that Corbyn “sides with the mullahs of Tehran rather than our friends in the United States over what is happening in the Persian Gulf! How incredible that we should even think of entrusting that gentlemen with the stewardship of this country’s security.” Johnson’s reaffirmation of the special relationship between the United States and United Kingdom and acknowledgment of the Iranian threat was encouraging, and stood in stark contrast to Corbyn and his anti-Western outlook.

Johnson won a landslide election victory in December 2019 while Corbyn was banished to the backbenches. Early indications were that Johnson’s government would live up to his early rhetoric on Iran — he and his Cabinet were largely supportive of the U.S. strike that killed General Qasem Soleimani, leader of the Quds Force.

Regrettably though, Johnson has failed to live up to his promise to favor the U.S. over the mullahs in Tehran. On August 14, the United Nations Security Council voted down a U.S.-led motion to indefinitely extend the arms embargo on Iran. The United Kingdom abstained, effectively rendering Johnson the very thing he swore to oppose. In fact, he has sided not only with Ayatollah Khamenei, but Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping too — both of whom wish to sell Iran weapons. Boris Johnson deserves credit for finally, mercifully getting Brexit done. But his failure on Iran is just one example of his shaky leadership on myriad other issues.

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