A Press TV journalist and Labour activist – who is suspended for filming a vote of no confidence against MP Joan Ryan and passing it to the broadcaster – has defended the Iranian regime and its right to call for “Death to Israel.”
Speaking to the JC outside the disciplinary hearing of long-suspended party activist Jackie Walker, Robert Carter said he supported what he called Iran’s “hard line” on Israel which he said was “a revolutionary statement.”
Mr Carter, a member of Enfield North Labour Party, had earlier conducted an interview for Press TV, the Iranian state broadcaster, with Marc Wadsworth, who was expelled from Labour over his confrontation with Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth at the launch of the Chakrabarti report into antisemitism.
Describing Iran as a “democracy in the Middle East,” Mr Carter told the JC Labour suspended him for “filming and leaking to the press” the footage of the Constituency Labour Party meeting that narrowly passed a vote of no confidence in Ms Ryan in September.
Ms Ryan, the chair of Labour Friends of Israel, decided to quit the party last month.
The publication of the footage from the meeting, which was closed to the public and where filming was meant to be banned, caused outrage and prompted a front page story in the Daily Telegraph, saying the Iranian regime had “infiltrated” Labour.
Mr Carter, who joined Labour during the 2015 leadership election, said he enjoyed working for Press TV because they “confront Zionists and the pro-Israel protesters and people like that.”
He said: “Other journalists and media side with them – we don’t.”
Mr Carter praised Press TV for being “pro-Palestine” with what he said was a “George Galloway kind of approach”.
“Zionism and Judaism are totally different,” he said. Mr Carter then discussed his support for Iran – a country he said he had visited along with Iraq.
“The Iranians can be hardline on issues,” he said. “They do say ‘Death to Israel’ and stuff like that. I’m not going to deny that – but they say it as a revolutionary statement.
“At the end of the day what we are now seeing is the death and destruction of Palestine.
“So the way the Iranians see it, which is a Muslim country, is that it’s an open field on murdering and destroying Palestine.
“So we say – alright if you want death to Palestine, we say ‘Death To Israel.’ It’s media warfare going on.”
Mr Carter then added: “Look, obviously Iran’s not perfect. I’m not saying it’s a paradise on earth.
“But they are constantly targeted with sanctions. The issue is governments like ours highlight the negatives and portray them as just evil.
“They go in for regime change and steal the resources of the country.
“At the end of the day, Iran plays a positive role in the region. We may not like everything they say but that’s a different issue.”
Mr Carter said he believed the Iranian regime would sanction a “referendum” of “all the people” living in Israel and Palestine to form a government in a single state that truly represented the population.
He refused to dismiss the possibility of the Jewish population being butchered under such a regime but insisted he believed only in peaceful change.
“Iran may be calling for a Palestinian state – but that does not mean they want a genocide of Jews,” he said.
He said many wrongly predicted Iran would sanction a slaughter of Sunni Muslims in Iraq.
Asked if he believed the alleged “Zionist lobby” – words Press TV uses – was too strong in the UK, Mr Carter said the Al Jazeera documentary The Lobby “said it all.”
After doing his interview with Mr Carter, Mr Wadsworth was overheard joking: “Being interviewed by Press TV – I’m really finished now.”
Mr Wadsworth later told activists in a nearby cafe that he was looking to raise £200,000 to mount a legal challenge to his expulsion from Labour.
Source » thejc