Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi has won his defamation case against Press TV, the fake news channel affiliated to the Iranian state broadcaster. Zahawi is of Kurdish background and was born in Iraq, before coming to the UK when he was a young boy. In July 2015 it implied he facilitated the trade of oil between ISIL and the State of Israel. The story was picked up and repeated by left-wingers on social media.
The Iranian broadcaster did not defend the libel action. The High Court in London will rule on damages and costs at a later hearing. Nadhim Zahawi says:
“The ludicrous allegation that I, while a Member of Parliament, had firstly betrayed all of my deepest held moral principles, and secondly had somehow managed to avoid international security services, and the law, to personally trade oil with ISIL was seemingly unbelievable. The accusation was clearly calculated to be as damaging as possible to someone from my background.
Despite having no basis in anything close to reality, except for my having been born in Iraq, rumours spread like wildfire on social media and clearly some people believed them. In my role as a member the Foreign Affairs Committee, I have often spoken out against the malign influence Iran has so often chosen to exercise in international affairs. But it was extremely upsetting, worrying and unexpected to have been targeted by a foreign government in this way.”
Zahawi’s lawyers had to serve the writ on the Iranian regime in Tehran. Press TV’s operation in London is claiming it has no funds to pay what will likely be 7-figure costs and damages. So Nadhim may end up bankrupting them or getting payment from the Iranian regime. Strange that Press TV always had enough money to pay Corbyn, Ken and Galloway’s fees…