The Liberal Democrats‘ co-leader argued the US attack on Iran‘s top general Qassem Soleimani is “dangerous” for the Middle East and the rest of the world. But ITV Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan promptly pointed out: “He was also very dangerous for all those things. Soleimani actively sought to kill British forces and American forces. He was terrorising through proxy groups all around the Middle East, from Yemen to Syria to Iraq to Lebanon. This is a very bad guy running a very bad series of proxy terror groups around the Middle East.”
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He added: “I asked were you pleased he was gone and you said you weren’t.
“Why wouldn’t you be pleased he’s gone?”
To which Mr Davey replied: “Because of the damage it does to the Middle East.
“Piers, I’m sorry, you’re just wrong on this.”
After speaking to US President Donald Trump on Sunday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson broke his silence to say the UK “will not lament” the death of the leader who he said was “a threat to all our interests”.
The Prime Minister urged de-escalation from all sides, saying that calls for reprisals “will simply lead to more violence in the region and they are in no one’s interest” after the killing in Baghdad on Friday.
But a short while later, President Trump threatened to retaliate “perhaps in a disproportionate manner” if Iran strikes a US citizen or target.
Donald Trump insisted Iranian cultural sites are fair game for the US military, dismissing concerns within his own administration that doing so could constitute a war crime under international law.
He also warned Iraq he would levy punishing sanctions if it expelled American troops in retaliation for a US airstrike in Baghdad that killed a top Iranian official.
The US leader’s comments on Sunday came amid escalating tensions in the Middle East following the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds force.
Iran has vowed to retaliate and Iraq’s parliament responded by voting on Sunday to oust US troops based in the country.
President Trump first raised the prospect of targeting Iranian cultural sites Saturday in a tweet. Speaking with reporters as he flew back to Washington from his holiday stay in Florida on Sunday he doubled down, despite international prohibitions.
“They’re allowed to kill our people. They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn’t work that way,” President Trump said.
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The killing of General Soleimani sparked outrage in the Middle East, including in Iraq, where more than 5,000 American troops are still on the ground 17 years after the US invasion.
Iraq’s parliament voted on Sunday in favour of a non-binding resolution calling for the expulsion of the American forces.
Donald Trump said the US would not leave without being paid for its military investments in Iraq over the years – then said if the troops do have to withdraw, he would hit Baghdad with economic penalties.
“We will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame,” he said.
“If there’s any hostility, that they do anything we think is inappropriate, we are going to put sanctions on Iraq, very big sanctions on Iraq.”
He added: “We’re not leaving until they pay us back for it.”