Threats and opportunities for a non-nuclear IranBy
If a US war with Iran does occur, what will happen with the UK’s coalition government (Editorial, 6 March)? All the Conservatives’ instincts will be to join in on America’s side. Labour will support them. That leaves the Lib Dems. Will they be the ones who keep Britain out of it? Will they at least try to do so, and end the coalition if they can’t? It looks unlikely: their history for 30 years suggests that (again) they will be like the Labour left under Tony Blair, not like Gaitskell opposing Eden. But I suppose you never know. This could be their historic opportunity, and their reward at the next election.
• It was with increasing incredulity that I read your 6 March editorial. At no point did I find that you used such words as “immoral” or “unethical” to describe the threatened attack by US-Israel on Iran. Why do you consider the framework of international law not to be relevant to the military actions of Israel and the US against Iran? There was no mention of the need to get UN support for such an attack. At least there was an attempt in the lead-up to the Iraq war to obtain UN approval and, when that failed, to claim earlier UN resolutions justified the attack.
Dr David Hookes
• Your editorial urges the US to create "incentives for Iran to change course on enriching uranium". Here is a suggestion: in return for stopping all enrichment activity, the US offers to build solar-cell and wind turbine factories in Iran, each capable of manufacturing one GW of electrical capacity a year. This would cost less than a new nuclear reactor. Within 10 years Iran could have more electricity capacity than its nuclear programme will produce in that time. Such distributed electricity generation is also more secure against disruption by earthquakes and hostile neighbours.
• Can anyone suggest how many nuclear-armed states (Report, 6 March) have to threaten a non-nuclear one before the threatened state is legally or morally justified in developing nuclear weapons?
Newcastle upon Tyne
• The stakes are rising over Iran and nuclear weapon development (Iran seeking to build long-range missile, warns David Cameron, 7 March). Has the international community ever drawn up an energy plan for Iran, based on renewable technology and conservation, that would render unnecessary nuclear power, with its shadowy companion, nuclear proliferation? It would then be so much easier to see what Iran, or indeed any other state, is up to.
• Given the government’s track record on truth-telling in recent years, could the prime minister explain why we should believe his and his national security adviser’s warnings about Iran’s apparent nuclear missile threats? Before the last election Cameron repeatedly referred to no top-down reorganisation of the NHS, no frontline cuts to public services and no VAT rise before doing all three. Cameron may be right this time, but government must understand its serial mendacity leads to justifiable electoral cynicism and resistance to its claims.
• David Grossman opposes an Israeli attack on Iran (Comment, 12 March) because, in his opinion, the Iranian danger is only a possible disaster in the future, while the result of the attack will be a certain disaster in the present. How can he be sure that the future disaster will not be much more serious than the present one? He ignores the nature of the Iranian regime. Its leaders have repeatedly stated that Israel has to be destroyed. We all hope diplomatic pressure and sanctions will prevent the Iranian government from getting an atomic bomb. But if that fails, the Israeli government should take immediate measures to stop Iran, even if it means loss of lives in the present, as it will prevent a much larger disaster in the future.
Dr Jacob Amir
from (author unknown)