23rd January 2012
The Rt Hon William Hague MP, Foreign Secretary
FOREIGN & COMMONWEALTH OFFICE
King Charles Street
LONDON SW1A OAA
Dear Foreign Secretary
Thank you for the letter of 23rd December, received on 19th January, from Ms Janice Hardy of your Iran Team, about our request for reinstatement of diplomats from the Islamic Republic of Iran, as Petitioned to the Prime Minister, copied to you.
I am afraid your response contained a number of misconceptions which need correcting before they turn into excuses for yet another war. As you know, the previous administration infamously spun deceptions about Iraq, now proved untrue, which led to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity, in which over a million innocent souls were murdered and at least three million more maimed. An entire nation was thus devastated by a decade of occupation and rape of its resources. The United Kingdom already stands accused of complicity in these crimes and will inevitably suffer the consequences. We do not want any more of these crimes on our hands.
A similar disinformation campaign against Muammar Qaddafi led to the UK engagement in aerial bombardments of Libyan civil infrastructure and personnel, without prior diplomatic negotiations, at the false behest of rebel factions that have no legitimacy in law or democratic principle, as subsequently proven by the chaos.
As to the UK Embassy in Tehran, Ms Hardy says the attack by protesters was “unwarranted”. This claim shows remarkable insensitivity to the effects of the deliberate imposition of cruel and indiscriminate sanctions imposed on the Iranian people. I visited Tehran last May and can assure you the embargoes are stifling the lives of ordinary people as well as trade and industry. The attack was an inevitable reaction to this unjustified siege, seen as supreme dictatorship from abroad. I am ashamed that the UK is again party to this oppression.
Ms Hardy also asserts that the mob included “paramilitaries of the Iranian State”. We would like to see her basis for this wild presumption. On the contrary, there is graphic evidence of the State deploying riot police with tear gas to defend our Embassy in line with Vienna Convention Protocols. So how could they also be involved in the attack? The fact that the mob broke through police lines indicates anti-UK anger is much greater than even the Tehran authorities were prepared for.
To argue that this incident justified closing Iran’s London Embassy is like blaming the police when riots break out and closing the police station. Unfortunately, all this confirms you have dismissed diplomatic negotiations. That in turn underpins evidence that paramilitaries were involved, not Iranian ones, but the Israeli-sponsored MeK agents provocateurs uncovered as having murdered Iranian scientists.
To claim “there has been exceptionally strong condemnation of the invasion of our embassy from across the international communty” also stretches the facts. Of course, the USA and UN Security Council condemned it, as they are complicit in the Sanctions blackmail. There was however, no genuine condemnation from China or Russia according to their news agencies.
We find it hard to understand why you are “increasingly concerned about the possible military dimensions of the Iranian nuclear programme”. The UK has 225 nuclear warheads and has nothing to fear from Iran or her civil nuclear programme, even if it were militarized. Would any state take on over-whelming nuclear powers like us, the USA and Israel? Iran’s facilities are constantly filmed and monitored by the IAEA, unlike Israel’s. And 17 US intelligence agencies confirmed that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons-grade material. The report from the IAEA which Ms Hardy refers to, appears to be based on the mysterious discovery of plans in a 10-year old laptop. This story echoes the one about Iraq importing Yellow-cake from Niger, which, thanks to Valerie Plame, was a hoax planted by Israeli agents.
You say we “do not want to see a nuclear arms race in the Middle East”. It does seem that you do not want to see that Israel has already begun this race, producing over 200 nuclear warheads by 1985 when Mr Vanunu bravely revealed the facts. But we surely do not want to see these weapons being used, whereas Israel has already planned to use threat entitles Iran to a nuclear deterrent, just as we argued when Russia and the US were racing for nuclear supremacy. In fact, Iran’s Islamic Leadership has ruled out the nuclear option as mad and an offence against God and the world.
We are glad you are not calling for military action against Iran. May we seek your assurance that you will not embroil the UK in such demands from Israel and the US either but rather dissuade them from such madness?
Finally, you say “we have supported sanctions as the best tool to avoid regional military conflict alongside a consistent call for dialogue and engagement on the nuclear issue”. But your embargoes on oil, trade and finance are fuelling conflict because ordinary citizens suffer as a result. They know this repression is born in Israel but have likely taken action to target Israel’s acolytes, by attacking our Embassy. Moreover, expelling Iran’s Ambassadorial team is inconsistent with your “support for dialogue and engagement.” If you are seriously concerned about “lack of progress with diplomatic efforts” and in “calling for a negotiated peaceful solution” it would make good sense to welcome the return of the Iranian Ambassador and stop backing Israel.
We are appalled at this damage to the Foreign Office’s reputation for diplomacy, common decency and cognizance of cultural and diplomatic nuances. It impacts on mutual respect and in particular on treatment of citizens abroad, whom I believe it is your duty to protect, as it is for Iran to protect hers?
I am copying this reply to the Prime Minister. If no indication is received of a show of goodwill towards relations with Tehran I will disseminate this opinion to the media and the international community.
Yours without prejudice
Dr James B Thring (rtd architect/planner, founder Ministry of Peace and Legal Action Against War. Author of ‘Peace with Iran’)The Ministry of Peace is a private initiative to promote peaceful, legal solutions to conflict