Blair accuses Iran of fuelling ‘deadly ideology’ of militant Islam

Tony Blair has accused Iran of backing and financing terrorist attacks, and warned that the threat of militant Islam is similar to that posed by fascism in the early 20th century.

In his first major speech since leaving office, Mr Blair said that Iran was prepared to destabilise peaceful countries in support of the “deadly ideology” driving Muslim extremism.

Speaking at a charity event in New York, Mr Blair said that the US, Britain and their allies risked being “forced into retreat” if they do not show “even greater determination and belief” in their common values. Mr Blair, who is now an envoy for the Middle East Quartet, said: “Analogies with the past are never properly accurate and analogies especially with the rising fascism can be easily misleading, but in pure chronology I sometimes wonder if we’re not in the 1920s or 1930s again.”

He said: “This ideology now has a state, Iran, that is prepared to back and finance terror in the pursuit of destabilising countries whose people wish to live in peace.”

Guardian, 19 October 2007

See comments by David Cox and Inayat Bunglawala at Comment is Free, 19 October 2007