Ex-soldier and Iranian caller get into explosive row over Soleimani killing
4 January 2020, 14:48
Shaheen, who lost family in the Iran-Iraq war, and John, a soldier in the region, got into a heated row about the US killing of Iran's Qasem Soleimani.
John and Shaheen got into a heated row about the US killing of Qasem Soleimani.
Shaheen said: "I disagree with this guy because the intelligence in past has been wrong and as a result of that millions of people have lost their homes, they lost their lives.
"If this gentleman happened to be living in one of those areas, who lost his home, lost his family, I'm not sure he would look at it the way he is looking at it now.
"America, they killed this guy. This guy is a mixed bag. He was a bad guy. I'm not saying he was good. I'm not a supporter of the Iranian Government.
"But what they did was wrong, he was actually one of the people who was fighting ISIS, but nobody talks about that."
He then called what America did "an act of war".
Shaheen the put the point to John: " If a same ranking officer of the US was in Iraq inspecting the troops and the Iranians droned him the way they droned this guy, how do you think the world would have reacted to that?
"It would have been all hell, Iranians this, this, this, let's go and attack them and so and so."
John responded: "You're sat back in your armchair with an opinion. I understand that. I understand this collateral damage and can I tell you something?
"When I talk about collateral damage, I was a person who was on the frontline and have picked up bodies.
"I've seen the the collateral damage. I've seen my brothers fall beside me in acts of anger, in an act of terrorism. I've seen people shut up inside and I've not been able to go and rescue them."
Shaheen said: "I was not born when Iran was in war with Iraq but I lost also family member in that war, my family had to change home, change town with because they were in war.
"So what you're saying, I was not born back then, but I've experienced the consequences that had a knock-on effect. I respect totally what you're saying, all I'm saying is if Iran did the same thing as America's done, it would have been totally different and is wrong and that has made the region a worse place for everybody.
"And look, they're sending troops there, everybody is now looking after themselves. So everybody knows something bad has happened and there's going to be bad consequences. That's my point."
John disputed this and said that you "can't make comparisons".
They started talking over each other and Matt Frei had to break it up.
John said he doesn't care if it makes the world a safer place.
Shaheen said that it "absolutely" has not made the world safer.