The veteran left-winger refused to put any blame on Tehran after they yesterday captured the Stena Impero and Mesdar oil tankers before letting the latter go after it was discovered the captain was Russian. The Labour leader took to Twitter with his views today. He said: “The UK tanker under Iranian control, and its crew, must be released. Escalation risks a deeper conflict, all sides must show restraint.
“Trump tearing up the Iran nuclear deal has fuelled confrontation. Its negotiated reinstatement is essential to defuse threat of war in the Gulf.”
His opinion was quickly mocked on Twitter.
One social media user said: “You’re an AntiSemite, who has sided with Iran. You’re a disgrace to UK politics and should resign.”
Another said: “There is only one side showing aggression here. For once in your life stand up for this country and stop giving your Iranian mates an excuse. So, so predictable. Slight slap on the wrist for Iran. Blame America (as always), favour the aggressor and demand the UK roll over.”
Another added: “As much as I despise Trump, you cannot justify these actions by blaming the United States. This is lazy and boring.”
Another said: “The same Iran that wants to destroy #Israel @jeremycorbyn?”
A fifth commenter, referring to President Trump pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – also known as the Iran nuclear deal – said: “The Iran deal is due to expire. And it was a bribe. We know you are upset because Trump is going after your mates.”
Another said: “Or you could just take our side over Iran and not mention Trump?”
President Trump was quick to respond after vessels Stena Impero and Mesdar were seized, with the latter of the two released by Tehran yesterday.
He told reporters outside the White House: “We have a very close alliance with the UK and we have always had. We have heard what happened.
“The US has very few tankers going in because we are using our own energy now.
“We made a lot of progress over the last two and a half years, so we don’t have a lot of tankers there but we have a lot of war ships there.
“And we will talk to the UK and we have no written agreement but we have an agreement, they have been a great ally of us so…we have heard about it, we have heard about one and we have heard about two, so we will work with the UK.
“They will have a new Prime Minister soon, which is a good thing, we don’t have a written agreement but we have an agreement which I think is long-standing.”
The ship is still with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, with Tehran citing international maritime law for their actions.
Owners Stena Bulk and ship’s managers Northern Marine said: “We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran.”
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he is “extremely concerned” about the ongoing crisis in the Strait.
He said: “I’m extremely concerned by the seizure of two naval vessels by Iranian authorities in the Strait of Hormuz. I will shortly attend a COBR meeting to review what we know and what we can do to swiftly secure the release of the two vessels – a British-flagged vessel and a Liberian-flagged vessel.”