Hundreds of anti-war protesters gathered in central London Saturday at a demonstration against Western intervention in Iran and Syria, the organisers said.
The rally, organised by the Stop the War Coalition, took place outside the US embassy in Grosvenor Square with a number of speakers addressing the 200-strong crowd.
Protesters waved banners bearing the words “Don’t attack Iran” and “Hands off Iran and Syria”, while the crowd joined together in chanting: “One, two, three, four, we don’t want another war. Five, six, seven, eight, stop the killing, stop the hate”.
The coalition opposes all military intervention from the West in Iran as concern that the Middle Eastern country is developing nuclear weapons grows.
The group said there is “absolutely no justification” for Western countries to become involved.
Stop the War Coalition activist John Rees said the uprising that ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak a year ago proved that oppressed people in the Middle East could fight for themselves.
He said: “Here is a people who without the bombers and the bullets, the tanks and the soldiers, or the United States, or Britain, or any of the Western powers, pulled down a dictatorship on their own.
Rees said that history showed that foreign intervention led to the future of these countries not being controlled by their own people.
He told protesters: “After they are finished, the resources of these countries will not be in the hands of the country’s people, they will not be democratically controlled by the people of these countries, they will be controlled by the masters of the people who will be working in this building (the US embassy)”.
He added: “Ordinary people have the capacity to deal with the dictatorships.
“They have the capacity to go on fighting week after week, month after month, to get democracy, to control their societies, to abolish poverty, and they will not stop fighting until they get it.
“Our business, the business of people who live in this country, is to make sure that they have the space and the freedom to do it.
“Our business is the business of keeping our Government off the back of people in the Middle East and giving them their chance to achieve freedom and democracy for themselves”.
Iranian activist Shirin Shafaie told the crowds the West had shown “double standards” in previous conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
She said: “Double standards are the worst enemy of justice and injustice is the worst enemy of peace.
“We must make sure history doesn’t repeat itself.
“We are here to make sure there is not another war anywhere in the world, which is led by America or European countries”.