Corbyn says there is 'no excuse' for shooting down Ukrainian passenger plane
11 January 2020, 17:08
The Labour Party leader told the "no war with Iran" protest that there is "no excuse" for the shooting down of a passenger plane in Iran.
Jeremy Corbyn told the rally that the disaster was an "appalling act".
Addressing the protest, Mr Corbyn said the crash, which killed 176 people including three Britons and 57 Canadians, was “part of a whole pattern of appalling acts across the region”.
“There’s no excuse for shooting down an airliner, there’s no excuse for a targeted assassination by one state against another,” he continued.
“Today let’s recognise the horror that the families of those that died in the airliner travelling from Tehran to the Ukraine are suffering from now.
“Let’s be clear there can be no excuses here.
The Labour party leader also said: “Let’s also recognise that that event and the events of the last few days and weeks have consequences.
“When big powers act illegally, when people step outside the norms of international law there are consequences.
“There’s no excuse for shooting down an airliner, there’s no excuse for a targeted assassination by one state against another.
“All this does is set off a spiral of violence and danger which will lead us to yet more wars in the future.”
His comments come after Iranian officials admitted that its military "unintentionally" shot down the Ukrainian Airlines plane amid heightening tensions with the USA.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Twitter “regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash” and called it a “great tragedy and unforgivable mistake”.
Iran launched the missiles in retaliation to the killing of senior Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike on January 3.
Mr Corbyn also demanded the release of jailed British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
He also told the crowd: “I would want a British Government approach to this to be not to immediately side with the United States whatever the questions put before them, not to put ourselves into hock to President Trump because of a trade deal, but to stand up for international law, for peace and for justice all around the world.”
Several hundred demonstrators chanted “one-two-three-four no to Trump, no to war” as they campaigned in Trafalgar Square.