Dr. Rodney Shakespeare
The UK government’s arms deals with Saudi Arabia, which is carrying out a ‘genocide’ in Yemen, shows London’s tendency to support totalitarian regimes around the world, says a British scholar.
Dr. Rodney Shakespeare, a London-based university professor, made the remarks while discussing an official report about Britain’s sale of illegal weapons to Riyadh.
According to a letter by Defense Secretary Michael Fallon to Conservative MP Philip Hollobone, the UK exported 500 cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia in the 1980s and the munitions were later used in the kingdom’s war on Yemen.
So far, at least 11,400 Yemenis have been killed in Saudi Arabia's aggression, which began in March 2015.
“The United Kingdom engages in the disgusting business of supporting the most brutal autocratic regimes in the world,” Shakespeare told Press TV on Wednesday.
“I refer to the regime in Saudi Arabia, which is in occupation of Bahrain and we supported the occupation of Bahrain by Saudi Arabia, and we are supporting what is effectively a form of genocide by means of cluster bombs and the like in Yemen,” he added.
London has been one of the biggest suppliers of weapons to Riyadh for 40 years. The British government has also been accused of being involved in guiding the Saudi military aggression against its impoverished southern neighbor.
Massive British arms sales to Saudi Arabia have come under scrutiny for months due to the kingdom’s role in inflicting heavy civilian casualties.
In November, the UK rejected calls by two parliamentary committees and human rights groups to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia.
Amnesty International on Monday called for “an immediate suspension of all further weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.”
“This cowardly business continues at this moment because the UK is in cahoots with regimes that suppress any form of democracy in the Middle East and the secret behind this is we are in cahoots with regimes which effectively in practice support the expansion of Israel,” Shakespeare explained.