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 Full text 
Tuesday, 14 January 2020 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Situation in Iran and Iraq following recent escalations (debate)

  Catherine Rowett (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, as Aristotle recognised, we can be blamed only for what is up to us. But what exactly is up to us? The unfolding situation in Iran invites us to reflect on this puzzle.

Once again, Ukraine finds itself the tragic recipient of collateral damage that was hardly foreseeable, but how enthusiastically should we side with the citizens of Iran challenging their regime and its military and holding them responsible for targeting a passenger plane?

For sure, human error might seem like a partial excuse, but equally, human error could, and should, have been foreseen and precautions taken. On the other hand, some actions are neither accidental nor excusable, and where aggression precedes self-defence we should not hesitate to apportion blame, especially if the perpetrator was once our ally.

The obligation for de-escalating a crisis must fall to the aggressor and not just to those tempted to retaliate.

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