Iran,  Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn and Iran’s Press TV

This is a guest post by Wild Colonial Boy

One interesting skeleton from Mr Corbyn’s past is his business relationship with the government of Iran. From 2009 to 2012, Jeremy Corbyn declared in the parliamentary register four payments from a PressTV production company of up to £5,000 each.

The most recent of the payments is listed on the 25 June 2012 declaration period in his parliamentary register of interests:

Interviews for Press TV, imaFilm Ltd, Level 7, Westgate House, Westgate Road, London W5 1YY. (Up to £5,000)

Other payments for PressTV work, each of up to £5,000, are listed on the declaration periods of 6 July 2011, 6 September 2010 and 2 September 2009. The payments are listed as being for “interviews”; whether Mr Corbyn was paid for his turn as the host of a PressTV call-in chat show is not apparent from the declarations.

Given Mr Corbyn and his supporters depict themselves as staunch defenders of LGBT and womens’ rights, it is unclear why he, and they, would be so sanguine about conducting a business relationship with a regime that hangs gay people from cranes and stones women to death. There is also some irony given Mr Corbyn’s criticism of the arms trade and Iran’s position as a leading exporter of short-range artillery rockets in the Middle East, particularly to non-state actors like Hamas and Hezbollah whom Mr Corbyn has praised as “dedicated to peace and social justice”.

My research turned up this PressTV news piece about gay marriage in which the anchor claims “It is thought that homosexuality is widespread in the UK, and it is generally promoted by politicians and the media”; as if on cue, the Rev Stephen Sizer is rolled out to underline the point.

It seems that on the UK “anti-war” left, all roads lead to Jeremy.