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‘Don’t attack Iran!’ Anti-war protests hit UK and Israel

Published time: March 24, 2012 12:55
Edited time: March 25, 2012 04:59

Anti-war protest on Trafalgar Square, London (photo by twiiter user John W Rees)

Download video (13.84 MB)

UK activists from the ‘Stop the War Coalition’ have held a day of action to speak out against war with Iran. Protesters took to the streets of 15 major British cities. In Israel, hundreds marched in Tel Aviv protesting the war.

The coalition’s unit in Nottingham declares on its website, that the United States has always been “tempted to use its overwhelming military strength” to try to make up for its relative economic decline, exacerbated by the current crisis.

“This means that the target is shifting to Iran and Syria. There are continual calls for intervention in Syria, and the war of words with Iran continually threatens to boil over into a war of aircraft carriers and bombs in the Straits of Hormuz,” the activists say.

The protesters compare what they call “current hysteria against Iran” with 2002 debates over the invasion of Iraq. At that time they feared war against Iraq was fatally approaching and held massive demonstrations against it.

Just as before the Iraq war, many experts are also warning to strike Iran would carry too many risks for the US and Israel. But campaigners say observers cannot stop the war.

“We heard it back in 2002. An attack on Iraq would have incalculable consequences across the region, we were told, and therefore will not be risked. Right and wrong, as we now know,” anti-war protesters believe.

They regret they could not prevent what they call “failed wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan, but reiterate that public opinion is a major threat to those pushing another war in the Middle East. Now they are calling for everyone to come to the streets and protest the gathering threat of war.

“Just as we're winding down the disastrous and unnecessary war in Iraq, the very same people who misled our nation into invading Iraq are now saying that now we need to attack Iran,” they say.

The marches come as immense tension grows around Iran’s nuclear program, which has resulted in sanctions imposed by the US and EU.

­Hundreds of Israelis protest war against Iran

­Hundreds of anti-war activists have rallied in Tel Aviv to warn the authorities against a potential attack on Iran. Protesters began their march at Tel Aviv's Habima Square, before making their way to the city's Meir Park.

Campaigners fear that mounting pressure could escalate into all-out war, the effects of which would reverberate globally.

The protest grew following a recent spontaneous Facebook campaign in which large numbers Israeli and Iranian citizens united in their opposition to potential war between their countries. The initiators of the phenomenon, however, explained on their Facebook page that they had nothing to do with the Tel Aviv protest march, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports.

The campaign was launched last week by graphic designer Ronny Edry and his wife, Michal Tamir, who uploaded a poster onto their Facebook page which depicted Edry and his daughter with the words, "Iranians, we will never bomb your country, we [heart] you."

The image sparked a whole movement, with many other people sending their own similar messages from Israel, Iran, and elsewhere in the world.

On Saturday, participants on the march held signs with such captions as "No to War with Iran," and "Talks, not Bombs," as well as “No to pre-emptive suicide.”

Recent polls suggest that some 58 per cent of Israeli citizens are against any military strike, RT’s Paula Slier reports from Tel Aviv.

Europe, Israel and the US have accused Iran of enriching uranium in order to build a nuclear weapon.They say the Islamic Republic conceived the data on nuclear experiments.

The sanctions against Iran came after a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, released in November last year. The UN inspectors raised questions about a possible military dimension to Iran’s program.

Iran vehemently denies the accusations and reiterates that its program is solely for civilian energy and medical research.

Jeremy Corbyn the chair of the 'Stop the War Coalition' told RT that isolating Iran and allowing Israel to continue with its threats will lead to very dangerous developments. 

“The way forward has to be de-escalating the tension and denuclearizing the region, otherwise somebody somewhere is going to develop a nuclear weapon,” he said.

He urged people to think about the consequences of a possible attack on Iran, saying it would dramatically affect the world economy and result in an incalculable loss of people should it happen.

“If we let slip the dogs of war, we will all regret it,” he concluded.

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