Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, issued a fulsome apology today after he appeared to take sides with “democratic” Iran against a “conspiracy” by western powers intent on “world domination”.
The words attributed to him were in an email sent from his office to a news agency in Tehran. They created a sensation in Israel when they were picked up by Sam Westrop, a blogger on the Jerusalem Post, though they were unreported in the UK except by the Iranian-backed Press TV.
It took two days for Mr Farage to find out what he was supposed to have said and to disown the comments attributed to him, which were written by a member of UKIP’s staff who answered questions on his behalf without consulting him.
The report by the Tehran based FARS agency, which had submitted a series of question to Mr Farage by email, quoted him as saying: “The UK is collaborating with the USA and the EU to victimize Iran for exercising her rights as a sovereign nation and for daring to pursue policies, which do not accord with collaborators' plans for supra-national world-domination.”
But he added that relations would improve when Britain left the EU and was able to have “transparent and cordial, fair and mutually profitable, diplomatic and trading relations with Iran, as one democratic nation to another.”
Asked what he thought of the idea of a military strike to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb, Mr Farage supposedly replied: “I think it is an utterly inexcusable and scurrilous threat to make and should be totally unthinkable for any civilized nation. It cannot but degrade international relations towards the level of a brawl.”
Even an economic boycott of Iran was “morally indefensible, counter-productive and sinister” according to the same set of replies.
On the history of relation between London and Tehran, Mr Farage supposedly commented: “The deterioration of relations between Britain and Iran occurred very suddenly, fifty years ago, when the western collaborators decided that Iran posed a political and economic threat to their political and economic ambitions in the Middle East.
“In my view, that remains their chief concern - whatever they may say about nuclear weapons, which are rather their latest convenient excuse - and this is why they have provoked the Iran-Iraq war and are hoping to destabilize Iran. These serial destabilizations are an end in themselves. Each one of them has criminally retarded Iran's political and economic development, which was precisely the point of instigating them.”
The comments were published in Tehran on Monday, but it took until today for Mr Farage to find out what he was alleged to have said. He went on to Facebook to announce: “An interview with the FARS news agency that is attributed to me did not take place. A member of staff with access to my email account gave a series of comments that do not reflect my opinions at all. I will be taking action on this and apologise wholeheartedly to anyone who has been offended.”Reuse content