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William Hague’s appeasement of Iran’s mullahs is a historic and terrible mistake

25 November 2013

25 November 2013

Well, I wondered in this place last week if David Cameron knew what he was doing in relation to the Iran nuclear negotiations in Geneva. And now the answer is clearly, ‘no’.

America and Europe’s overwhelming desire to declare a deal meant that there had to be a deal to declare. The P5+1 countries, with the ludicrous Catherine Ashton speaking for Europe, have indeed made a historic and terrible mistake.

The mullahs did not come to Geneva because they wished to give up their capability. And they did not come to the table because after 34 years of revolutionary Islamic governance they have seen the error of their ways. They came because international sanctions were beginning to hurt. Those sanctions – which took years to put in place – have now fallen apart thanks to a few days of incompetent negotiating on the part of the P5+1 plus some simple common sense from Tehran. People tend to say at this stage that the Iranians are ‘master negotiators’. They aren’t especially. They are simply fortunate to be playing against Catherine Ashton and a generation of other weak and short-sighted American and British politicians.

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The result is that the Iranian regime has managed to walk away with a deal to relieve the pressure of sanctions at the very moment that the pressure was working and the very moment that it should have been kept up and ultimately used to break them. They now have the breathing hole they need to reinforce their power at home and continue their search for nuclear weaponry.

At the root of this debacle is the fact that the Iranians went into the sanctions knowing exactly what they wanted: time and the bomb. The P5+1 countries, by contrast, were riddled by doubt and muddled thinking.

There should only ever have been two aims with regard to the Iranian regime. The first is to ensure that it never ever gains the capability to develop nuclear weapons: not only to ensure that the world’s most destabilising regime never possesses the world’s most dangerous weaponry, but to ensure that it cannot precipitate a nuclear arms race across the Middle East.

The second aim, and one which appears to have slipped even further down any international agenda, is to see the end of the brutal rule of the mullahs. Sadly this does not even appear to be on the table any more. Ever since President Obama failed to come out in support of the brave Iranian protestors who rose up in 2009, the basic human rights of the Iranian people have been ignored utterly. So what that the regime promotes terror around the world? So what that it oppresses, rapes, tortures and executes its opponents at home? By negotiating with this regime and allowing it off the hook at this moment America, Britain and our allies have not only given a stay of execution to the mullahs, we have further undermined the hopes of any opponents of the regime inside Iran.

I was watching and listening to William Hague earlier today and I must say that it was a pathetic experience: a diminished figure trying to persuade a sceptical nation to support a demeaning deal. All he lacked was a winged collar, a piece of paper and the slogan: ‘nuclear peace in our time.’


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  • Barry Potter

    Great post Douglas. Articulates clearly the dangers here.

    Difficult to understand the political leaders who seemed all along to be driving for a political deal at all costs even with Munich being so clearly illuminated in the background.

  • George Smiley

    Can sanctions against Iran go on indefinitely, if India requests and demands that they be lifted? Who but Bibi and Shin Bet would think that the United States Navy would be prepared to board (and if necessary, torpedo) Indian-chartered oil tankers and even armed Indian naval escort exiting the Persian Gulf, bound for the Arabian Sea on their way back to India?

    When was Mr. Netanyahu last in India?

  • wessexman

    The point of the talks was not regime change. It is not our duty or interest to go around changing the governments of the world to those we think are better according to some abstract standards, or to plant our political and social forms around the whole world. Since when did the Spectator start supporting such neocon nonsense?

    I have no time for Cameron’s Tories, but Bush-era regime change interventionism is hardly an improvement.

    • George Smiley

      The Baron and Baroness Black of Crossharbour.

      • Barry Potter

        In all fairness we know that sooner or later Iran will have a nuclear weapon either off the shelf or their own

        OTT. We don’t know that.

        • George Smiley

          The Iranian Bomb is inevitable. Once the Americans had it, the British, the French, the Russians and the Indians would want to have it too; once the Chinese had it, the Koreans and the Japanese would want to have it too, and the Indians would want to have it even more badly; and once the Indians had it, the Pakistanis, the Persians, the Arabs and the Turks would want to have it. Ancient rivalry. Nuclear weapons are in a sense no different from cannons.

          The Jews of Israel would just have to move, once more, if they are so afraid of the Shia bomb.

  • darwins beard

    In all fairness we know that sooner or later Iran will have a nuclear weapon either off the shelf or their own, will our leaders grow a spine then or will they wait till Tel Aviv is a smoking irradiated ruin?

  • Coleridge1

    How nauseating to watch the inept Catherine Ashdown costing up to the women-stoning, Gay-hanging, Christian-persecuting, Jew-hating primitive savages who rule islamofascist Iran.

    • Barry Potter

      Ashdown does seem to be so particularly unsuited for the job. But there you have it. That is the EU encapsulated.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    “US drone hits Pakistan School: Eight dead, including five children”
    Another story you won`t read in the Spectator.

    • Coleridge1

      I think you mean Madrassa where Islamists are trained to butcher western and Jewish kids in suicide attacks. Until the racist apartheid state of Pakistan stops training jihadis to kill non-Moslems, they can expect their terrorist madrassas to be droned.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Justifying the murder of children, nice.

        • Coleridge1

          so no criticism of fascist apartheid Pakistan for training Jihadis to butcher westerners eh?

        • John

          Malala? Jihadists in Pakistan have only to stop using vulnerable young children as human shields and all your concerns will have been addressed, Jackthesmilingblack…

  • Mynydd

    We must wake up to the fact that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are longer a World Power and therefore do not have a seat or voice at the top table. In Geneva Mr Hague’s job was to fly the Union flag, stay on the side lines, say nothing, return home and spin what the USA and the EU have told him.

    • Barry Potter

      In Geneva Mr Hague’s job was to fly the Union flag, stay on the side lines, say nothing, return home and spin what the USA and the EU have told him.

      Thank goodness. He is singularly unsuited for serious policy.

  • George Smiley

    1. Can the Iranian nuclear programme be permanently eliminated through singular or multiple unilateral limited air strikes by the Israeli Air Force alone?
    Answer: No; unless you were George Friedman of Stratfor.

    2. Are we in the West prepared to send boots on the ground into Iran?
    Answer: No more than we were prepared to send troops into Anatolia Proper of Ottoman Turkey just under a century ago.

    3. Would a military campaign on an half-mountainous, half-desert terrain extremely costly in terms of lives?
    Answer: Yes.

    No amount of Israeli, Zionist or Jewish emotional blackmail can blackmail their way into landing us an open-ended war in the Middle East with no obvious means of realising the objective (short of a century of costly military occupation). Almost literally nothing, certainly not the destruction of Israel alone, would induce Uncle Sam et al. to send 150,000+ of their G.I.s to their deaths. When the Iranians have all the cards, we might just as well pretend to negotiate!

    The Israelis are more than welcome to start their own private war, just don’t expect “the World” to get on it!

    • Augustus

      “When the Iranians have all the cards, we might just as well pretend to negotiate! ”

      “Iran’s currency has been hit hard. At the beginning of 2012, one U.S. dollar purchased 16,000 rials in the open market. As of April 30 of this year, one dollar was worth about 36,000 rials. The open market value of the rial has lost over two-thirds of its value in the last two years….
      Inflation, partly due to the volatility and depreciation of the rial, is another telling metric. As of April 20, 2013, the official Statistics Center of Iran twelve-month average inflation rate was approximately 30 per cent, while the point-to-point inflation rate was nearly 39 per cent. Independent analysis suggests the actual inflation rate is significantly higher.

      “Despite our success in increasing pressure on Iran, we have yet to see the regime change its fundamental strategic calculus regarding its nuclear program. Nonetheless, the Administration remains convinced that sanctions pressure has an important role to play in helping to bring about a negotiated resolution.”
      -Testimony Of Under Secretary For Terrorism And Financial Intelligence David Cohen Before The Senate Committee On Banking, Housing And Urban Affairs On Iran Sanctions (6/4/13).

      Only a continuation of, and the threat of further tough sanctions, and a credible military threat, could have been likely to lead to an acceptable agreement stopping Iran’s further progress towards a nuclear WMD capability. Why give away your Ace card?

      • George Smiley

        There is always barter, so the value of the Iranian currency is not so relevant; and India wants the sanctions lifted, “or else”.

        There is no card left give away. Afghanistan has been a pig’s breakfast (if the Afghans would excuse the pun), and there is absolutely no will for an occupation of Iran, and Tehran knows it.

    • Kennybhoy

      Oh ffs use your own pseud Toby! :-)

    • Coleridge1

      I can’t actually remember an Israeli suggesting that British, French or US troops should engage in war to defend it. Where exactly does this crap come from?
      The Israeli Air Force and Israel’s nuclear capability is more than competent to wipe out the nuclear threat from islamofascist Iran.
      Just, if and when Israel does the world a favour and defangs the women-stoning regime in Tehran, let’s not hear the usual garbage of “Israeli disproportionate force” from the wimps who lead us in the free world.

      • George Smiley

        That posits upon the notion that the Iranian Air Force would somehow still respect international borders (when the Israelis have violated Iranian air space), and would not simply fly over to the Negev to drop a few of their own. The Israelis and the Israel Lobby are simply believing in their own lies.

        Iran would just build their own extraterritorial nuclear reactors upon Indian soil (India is never a signatory of the NPT), or in Sri Lanka under Indian pressure.

        I would be very surprised indeed if the Indians had not already sold the Iranians a few nukes and the nuclear know-how, just for the sake of one-upmanship vis-à-vis Uncle Sam and Israel (for denying the Indians of their status as a nuclear power would be a good start), if the Russians or the Chinese had not already done so first.

        Why do Jews like you think that there is somehow a virtual magical line separating Iran and the Middle East from the rest of Asia, that the Indians don’t matter, that they can be snubbed at will?

  • George Smiley

    1. Can the Iranian nuclear programme be permanently eliminated through singular or multiple unilateral limited air strikes by the Israeli Air Force?
    Answer: No.

    2. Are we in the West prepared to send boots on the ground into Iran?
    Answer: No more than we were prepared to send troops into Anatolia Proper of Ottoman Turkey just under a century ago.

    3. Would a military campaign on an half-mountainous, half-desert terrain extremely costly in terms of lives?
    Answer: Yes.

    No amount of Israeli, Zionist or Jewish emotional blackmail can blackmail their way into landing us onto an open-ended war in the Middle East with no clear objective. Almost literally nothing, certainly not the destruction of Israel alone, would induce Uncle Sam et al. to send 150,000+ of their G.I.s to their deaths. When the Iranians have all the cards, we might just as well pretend to negotiate!

    The Israelis are more than welcome to start their own private war, just don’t expect “the World” to get on it!

  • Guest

  • Tom Tom

    So Iran has bigger gas reserves than Russia….who needs Qatar ? If oil and gas prices fall there might be some economic recovery that could be sustained

  • Terry Field

    How funny life is. Blair smiled, and they voted for him in droves.

    Obama wrote a marketing book, smiled and they voted for him in droves. Rafsantidlypom smiles and the power elite send their military away, bill and coo, and ‘do a deal’.
    Smiling.
    You can’t beat it – it leaves the greatest military power on earth biting dust, bloodied and defeated.

    • JabbaTheCat

      Good job you didn’t get round to action Ashton’s rictus grin, else we’d be examining an infinitely long row of cracked mirrors…

  • Terry Field

    Hague is a catastrophe; his actions in Syria are monstrous and this is worse. How have we become the instrument of these insane ministers???

  • Shoe On Head

    g-zero environments means the US will face the pacific more and more.

    china airspace deal > any ME deal (incl israel)

    bibi and house of saud were not outmanoeuvred. they just dont matter as much.

    murray is part of a think tank assuming atlantic facing dominance. in simple terms, that is no longer the case. and the politics is beginning to slowly (inexorably) reflect it.

  • Raga Joz Aftermath

    we didn’t vote for this we just watch it unfold with horror basically

  • Andy M

    It is truly pathetic what has been allowed to happen. A terrorist state like Iran, which has repeatedly stated its desire to acquire nuclear weapons and to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, are now all of a sudden to be trusted to keep to a deal which nobody has any hope of monitoring, due to the way Iran block surveillance. For years they shout about their desire to destroy and to be nuclear armed, then suddenly we are expected to believe them when they agree to a deal which has clear benefits for them in other areas and not think it’s just lies to avoid the sanctions that have been hurting them? You have to be an absolute lunatic to think this is in any way a good deal for anyone but Iran.

    • Penny

      As sanctions lift and coffers fill again, I suspect it will also be a good deal for Hizbollah and Assad.

      • Andy M

        God, even worse. More terrorists benefit.

        • Penny

          Hamas has had its Iranian funding cut by £15 million a month due to not playing nicely in Syria. Perhaps they’ve either kissed and made up since or will do so in the future and get their full funding back.

    • pdhan

      “repeatedly stated its desire to acquire nuclear weapons”

      sorry but when was this?

    • Tom Tom

      Building an atom bomb is within the capacity of any nation with an
      atomic energy programme which is precisely why the UK built the world’s
      first civilian reactor. Germany or Japan could easily build nuclear
      weapons, far easier than South Africa, Brazil or Argentina which all
      tried – or even South Korea. The Shah of Iran was determined to have
      atomic power. In 1974 France agreed to supply 5 reactors, 2 more from
      Westinghouse, and KWU to build one at Bushehr.

      1974 ” “[One day] sooner than is believe, [Iran would be] in possession of a
      nuclear bomb.” Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi tells a French news agency.”

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Israel marginalized: Priceless.

  • David Booth.

    Sadly Hague has joined the other 2 windbags, Kerry & Ashton, to form “The Three Stooges”
    They have simply given Iran a post dated cheque to be cashed in 3 months time!

  • Kennybhoy

    “I was watching and listening to William Hague earlier today and I must say that it was a pathetic experience: a diminished figure trying to persuade a sceptical nation to support a demeaning deal. ”

    Aye. Those images of him being all but manhandled around by Kerry were utterly humiliating. Vey sad…

  • chan chan

    So, according to congressmen privy to the deal, the terms of the deal are that there aren’t any terms of the deal – yet. Those terms are to be determined at a time in the future not yet decided. So the six month term doesn’t begin until they decide what the terms are. And we don’t yet know when that ‘negotiation’ will begin, let alone conclude. In the meantime, Iran continues as normal.

    Sounds like Ashton, Hague and Kerry have done a first rate job…

    • pdhan

      Read before you speak. There are obviously terms for this initial deal (or it wouldn’t be a “deal”) but it only lasts for six months. A second deal with final terms will have to be negotiated before the end of this time.

  • Bonkim

    Utter Tosh – the Iranians are a civilized lot going by the general standards of the Middle East and a lot better than sat Saudi Arabia – the West’s favourite.

    Get real – nuclear know how is no longer a secret – most countries can either develop the technology or get the basic minerals if they want to.

    Talking of countries that are tyrannical or oppressive or practising middle ages practices – many around that the West supports or ignores if inconvenient – I would have liked the US/UK to have bombed Assad out of his castle – look where we are. Invading Iran will be near impossible for the US cavalry. Iran has been Historically a central power in the region and best to negotiate and come to terms. Iran may get the Bomb but unlikely to use one simply because of the repercussions – you can say that about all N powers today.

    Why should Iran want its toy when lesser mortals – Pakistan, India and Israel has the capability.

    Iran has a lot to contribute to the world if brought within polite society – and their brand of Islam is much more benign than the variety you appear to love across the Gulf. Unless you are a supporter of Israel that has failed to go against all UN declarations against its criminal behaviour in the region.

    Give me Iran any day.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Go and live there then. You won’t be missed.

    • Penny

      UN declarations against Israel are just fast food for the lazy propagandist.

      I could whack together a few random numbers and a letter and say it was a UN resolution against Israel and the fish would bite. No need to look it up, no need to see which committee drafted it. Context and content not required or wanted. Just so long as it can be used on the vulnerable.

      • Bonkim

        Israel is past masters at the propaganda wars and the Iranians are catching up.

        • Penny

          And that is relevant to my comment, how, exactly?

        • Kennybhoy

          Alas Israel has not “done” effective propaganda since the end of the Mapai/Histadrut hegemony…

        • David Booth.

          Ah, the old “Two wrongs make a right” argument.

  • Roy

    Isn’t it always the same? A supposed deal made by the goofs of the “West”. They are trading amateurs (never bought or sold anything in their life). Yet we have them trying to mete out a fair compromise while holding all the cards. They hold the welfare of the free western democracies in their sticky little hands and trade it off for the word of a fanatic who is ruled by a prayer book licensed to lie.

    • Bonkim

      You are missing out the most important international trade component – releasing Iran’s wealth would benefit our hard pressed economies – it is the economy stupid. And the nuclear risks have been evaluated and mitigated.

      • Roy

        We will see.

      • bwims

        w’nker

        • Bonkim

          with idiots around that live on benefits!

  • victor67

    So Murray rejects negotiations and calls for regime change . More tosh from the neo-con arm chair warriors who are not happy unless they are in a ME war. The trouble is that they are never prepared to do the fighting themselves.
    The US pursuing a policy of regime change against Iran would be catastrophic for the whole world. As Alex Massie said last year ,the problem with neo-cons like Murray is they see the world as they would like it to be and not as it is.

    • Shoe On Head

      neocons are in denial about g-zero.

  • Tom Tom

    Are you really only 34 and bringing worldly wisdom to bear from your dilletante career in penning articles and appearing at AIPAC events in the USA ? Should we really take you seriously ? I find it terribly hard when I think of you in Liam Fox’s little Henry Jackson Club pontificating as if singing for your supper before sponsors

  • Augustus

    It is completely clear that there won’t now be any progress towards a permanent deal to completely dismantle Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear bomb. The current president of Iran was proud that he deceived the West for years, so trusting in him would be pretty stupid. The Iranian regime is determined, persistent and cunning, and they will not give up their strategic goal: establishing a Persian empire in the Middle East. The potential danger is clear: While Iran retains the ability to pursue a nuclear weapon at a moment’s notice, the war-weary West would have a hard time forming an unwavering and united front against it should one be needed again. It’s also pretty clear that the stringency of Iran’s demands shows that it’s nuclear programme is not really designed to serve only as a power supply for civilian purposes. Why did Iran want to enrich uranium, or build a plutonium-producing heavy water reactor in Arak, or limit the scope of inspections? Obviously, they want a nuclear bomb. The Geneva talks have shown just how weak Western leaders and negotiators are. They should have kept up the pressure on Iran, forcing it to accept the West’s demands to fully dismantle its nuclear programme. What a useless bunch!

    • Treebrain

      Augustus,

      “It is completely clear that there won’t now be any progress towards a permanent deal to completely dismantle Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear bomb.”

      That was never a realistic option, and realpolitik is about the art of the possible.

      • Augustus

        “realpolitik is about the art of the possible.”

        But realism in diplomacy still requires a moral dimension, even allowing for the West’s decline, with its Chamberlain-like spirit of appeasement which has come to define Obama’s America and the West in general. As a nuclear threshold state, within arms reach of a nuclear bomb, Iran is a threat to the entire world, and especially to Israel. And in the ME it would be a disaster. There would be no peace with a nuclear Iran, no deterrence to terrorism. All actions in the Middle East would be taken with the looming Iranian nuclear threat. The pressure on Iran caused it to change its tactics and sit at the negotiating table, but the West was too weak to capitalize on its successes and ramp up further pressure on Iran and make it halt its nuclear program altogether. This deal in which Iran doesn’t have to dismantle its centrifuges and its heavy water reactor, can be allowed to continue with proxy terrorism and human rights abuses, and only has to make minor concessions that it can reverse in weeks, yet gets tens of billions in cash and other concessions, is nothing less than an act of criminal appeasement.

        • Penny

          I’m hardly the biggest fan of the UN, Augustus, but I daresay some here are, and might like to consider the fact that this deal has shredded up the six security council resolutions that required it to suspend uranium enrichment programs and undertake “confidence-building” measures.

        • Treebrain

          Augustus,

          Realpolitik is not about morality, and neither is ‘The Prince’.

          The simple fact is that the West will NOT go to war with Iran and Israel cannot.

          Sanctions were applied to Iran, Iran has responded by coming to the negotiating table, a deal has been signed.

          During the next six months diplomacy, not war, will prevail.

        • George Smiley

          There is no morality in international relations; there never had, and there never will.

  • Anthony

    There’s a lot of wrong headed Israeli appeasement on here. Many of you don’t realise what a nasty lying bunch Political Zionists are. They rely on a bogey man to ensure US aid which is a large part of their GDP. Iv’e little time for Iran myself, but to pretend Israel is in any way respectable is an insult to the 800 British service personnel who were murdered in terrorist actions like the King David Hotel bombing. And all because the British Mandate was to keep the integrity of the population from massive immigration by European Ashkenazi Jews and others who have almost zero right to claim Semitic ancestry as they are mainly Kazhars who spread through Europe after the Rus (eastern Vikings) kicked them out in the 8th century. They were political converts to Judaism, and if you seek to build some honesty about what Israel is all about, then a good place to start is the True Torah Jews who know when they’re being fed a line of propaganda.

    Talk of appeasement by Hague, by appeasing Israel, is as wrong headed as it gets. Israel is every bit the terrorist state just as Iran is. Plague on all their houses.

    • sarah_13

      Sir you could not be more wrong “israel is every bit the terrorist state just as Iran is”? How so? Israel shares intelligence with the western agencies, intelligence that keeps us safe from iranian backed terrorism, Iran hangs children, it rapes its own people, terrorises gays and minorities pay a tax based on islamic law, they are a vicious and serious regime, not to be trifled with and not messing around. Israel’s constitution guarantees freedom of religion and conscious to its citizens, guarantees rights to gays and minorities, has thriving christian and arab communities, and guarantees better rights than any muslim would have in any other muslim majority country in the region, has a Supreme court that even today allows alqaeda backed terrorists to claim against israel… I could go on.

      • Kennybhoy

        “Sir…”

        You flatter the loon.

      • David Booth.

        I would have Israel as a neighbour rather than Iran as a neighbour.

    • Augustus

      Not even the ‘ludicrous’ Baroness Ashton would have continued talks in Geneva if her own country were threatened with destruction. But it’s so easy to be in denial and blame ‘political Zionism’ for the troubled ME. You wouldn’t be the first. Much of the West is in denial about an Islamic nuclear republic. This denial could ultimately descend into a nuclear arms race and chaos not of Israel’s making. But remember, Israel has the absolute right to prevent a country that has threatened its destruction from developing nuclear weapons, if it saw that an Iranian nuclear bomb was being completed. And if they ever had to embark on such a task alone you can bet that the Saudis (no friend of Israel) would allow the Israelis passage through their airspace for an attack on those nuclear weapons facilities.

    • Colonel Mustard

      As a “terrorist state” Israel have a lot of catching up to do:-

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Islamic_terrorist_attacks

    • Daniel Maris

      I don’t think you have to be a hardline Zionist to realise that once Israel is eliminated they will move on to the next target e.g. Spain, Italy or the Balkans.

      On the basis of your logic all the Palestinians of Turkish origin should be deported back to Turkey.

    • Augustus

      The sanctions imposed by the United Nations on Iran were ignored.

  • Daniel Maris

    Meanwhile..in a cave 400 miles from Tehran, the centrifuges are whirring away day and night…out of sight and out of mind.

    Why on earth didn’t we just carry on with sanctions? They were obviously hurting.

    • Bonkim

      Iran was supplying oil to quite a few. In fact sanctions would make Iran seek alternative solutions – people get hardened by war and persecution and more inventive. Iran also has friends in the region that want Iran’s oil and gas.

      • Daniel Maris

        The oil sanctions weren’t what was really hurting – it was the financial sanctions.

  • Daniel Maris

    The only puzzle is why Obama, having bowed so deeply to the Saudi King, should now bow so deeply to the Ayatollahs…

    • Kennybhoy

      Not really. He has no real principles just a set of free floating imperatives.

    • sarah_13

      My view is because its easier to appease, the situation is very complex and the region is becoming more complicated by the day. Obama has attempted to step back because they felt bad that they were vilified by so many during George Bush’s tenure and so they are actually appeasing at present, possibly not consciously but in any event they are and will ultimately have to deal severely with a harsh regime if it doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of blackmail.

      • bengeo

        Has the USA ever chosen to go to war with a country that has a credible, functioning air force?

        • Tom Tom

          Since 1945 the US has avoided nations with large populations since they usually have lots of manpower. They also have a big problem in Afghanistan where Russia, Iran and Pakistan have to be friendly enough to facliitate extrication of men and materiel……….too much of a rout is bad for voter morale

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Look real close, and you’ll find the US has at least one base in China as well. Perhaps not a “base”, technically, but it’s a transport node, although I doubt we’ll ever get an inventory as to what’s being transported.

  • Margot

    Basically the Israelis are civilised and the Iranians are nuts – and if we have any pretensions to being civilised this has now been diminished by giving any sort of credence to a regime which has not even reached the level of our middle ages.

    • Bonkim

      are you an enemy agent?

      • Colonel Mustard

        No, I think you are. Like all lefties.

        • Bonkim

          You will be surprised I am right wing but on a sensible plane. Israelis are as left as they can get only they are war criminals.

          • Penny

            What’s “as left as they can get” exactly? Is it like Abdul Bari Atwan’s comment about Netanyahu’s government being “very, very, very, right wing?” Only opposite – obviously.

            Israel – for its detractors – has this kind of play-dough like potential to be anything they want it to be. As long as it’s their personal version of “very bad!”

            • artemisinfrance

              Well said.

              • Penny

                Thanks -).

          • Colonel Mustard

            Yeah right. I’ve heard that line before. Sensible plane. Sensible conservative. De-toxified conservative. Not a right-wing loon. Got it.

      • Treebrain

        Bonkim,

        Good question, if so she will have to abide by the Foreign Agents Registration Act if she is a US citizen!

      • Margot

        No, but don’t really see what you’re getting at.

    • Makroon

      Margot is just a bit dim.
      If she had taken the trouble to consult any erudite Jew of her acquaintance, she would have found that the two ancient peoples have a deep level of respect for each other (notwithstanding present difficulties).
      It was Cyrus the Great who liberated the Hebrews from their servitude in Babylon, and even funded the rebuilding of the Temple.

      • Margot

        That was last month presumably! The world has changed a little since then. Sometimes a country gets the government it deserves and Iran has ended up with a bunch of religious fruitcakes.

        • Andy M

          Margot, you’re missing the point – it isn’t the people who are against each other. It’s their governments. The people do have respect for each other, just as the people are not the same as the regimes that rule them. You are truly a fruitcake if you believe Iranians are all crackpots just because they are oppressed under a fanatical regime.

          • Margot

            They may not be all fruitcakes but there are too many of them content to walk around Tehran in designer jeans whilst living in a medieval theocracy.

            • Andy M

              Even if I simply ignore the mass generalisation you’ve just made and accept it as fact, what on earth does what they choose to wear have to do with whether or not they are good or bad people, or whether they respect Israeli citizens or not? They have no choice in how they live their lives within the country, as any opposition to the regime is dealt with using deadly force. Wearing designer jeans, although inadvisable, isn’t a crime. However, genocide is.

              • Margot

                It might well be a crime if by being content as long as you have such designer goods you are ignoring the horrors around you which your government is doing. If we had teenagers being hanged at the end of Bond Street or stonings going on in Hyde Park the people ignoring it would be guilty of a crime in most people’s definition.

                • Andy M

                  Not if it meant that by trying to do something about it you’d be hung yourself (and most likely your family and friends would be hung too). I doubt you’d find many people in this country or any other that would be willing to face certain death in an attempt to make a change that they know is destined to fail. You are attempting to frame the events taking place under a genocidal regime into the context of a democratic Western society, where individuals are able to and are encouraged to act differently. It isn’t a fair or balanced comparison, nor is it realistic. Now back to the point: are you equating wearing designer jeans with genocide?

                • Margot

                  People who go in fear of hanging in case they say anything are not usually all that bothered about designer gear. Take a trip to Tehran and see if you feel like you’re in a gulag! Those under and opposing Stalin or Hitler were not checking the latest fashions.

                • Penny

                  Margot – do you not recall the Green revolution in Iran? The thousands out on the street protesting; the Basiji beating them up; the death of Neda Sultan – shot while walking down the street? There were many arrests and claims of torture. They believed the elections had been rigged in favour of Ahmadinejad. His political opponents – the more moderate Mousavi – and Karroubi (along with Mousavi’s wife,Zahra) have been under house arrest since 2009. This is a country where the Press Freedom ranking is 191st out of 196 countries. There are 40 journalists behind bars and a newspaper recently closed down simply for criticising a Shia holiday! These people are held in a tight grip. I don’t think this deal has helped them in terms of getting rid of the Mullahs.

                • Margot

                  But there is still the affluent part of the pop who do not have their hearts in any rocking of the status quo. And seeing what’s happened in other Islamic countries that have had their revolutions you can see why they might think that way. A lot of bloodshed to achieve precisely nothing – or to go backwards as in Egypt. The thread running through all this is Islam which is pure evil – or perhaps evil is gracing it too much respect – it is a pathetic ideology which has brought nothing but misery in its wake.

                • Andy M

                  Margot, there is still an affluent part of the population who are content to live their comfortable lives and don’t want to rock the status quo in EVERY country. If you are arguing that these people are bad, then you can make the same argument for the same types in all countries. By that logic everyone is bad. You still haven’t made a point that proves that Iranians in general are bad people.

                • Margot

                  Odd, when I read your other comments we seem to be arguing from the same side. Anyway – obviously there are people in every country that do not want to rock the status quo but when that status quo includes public hangings and stonings you do have to wonder at their silence….In fact I would say they are bad. Many travel writers have commented on the affluence and designer gear on show in Tehran (so I don’t need to go there as you advised). In all countries where there are terrible regimes there will be people intent on lying low – I would probably do the same. It is where those lying low are doing so to maintain such a lifestyle that it becomes a problem – unless they are similar to the Auschwitz camp kommandant who lived in affluence next to that terrible place. and had not a qualm.

                • Andy M

                  We are probably on the same page as far as considering Iran to be the terrorist state and should not be trusted or attempt to reason with it. My only thing I have trouble accepting or doing myself is to label an entire nation of civilians as being bad people just because: A) their government are evil and B) they are too frightened to stand up to the government.

                  I understand you are saying that some living in Tehran are living affluent and elitist lives. But I don’t consider that as evidence that the reason they don’t do anything is solely because they are simply wanting to maintain that lifestyle – indeed they would lose the lifestyle should they try to do something, but more importantly they would lose their lives. Everyone is in the same situation – and nobody wants to be killed or see their loved ones killed, therefore they remain oppressed. I think the lifestyle is a coincidental factor, more than a deciding one here.

                • Margot

                  And I would say the same of Pakistan where a similar educated part of the population seems to find it advisable to keep their mouths shut. And China – where many affluent citizens avoid the one child policy by ‘buying’ extra children (one family I knew had 4 children) and send their children abroad to be educated. But would never criticise the regime.

                • Andy M

                  What you have said doesn’t address the point I just made though Margot.

                • Andy M

                  Before advising me to take a trip there, I think it’s best you have the gumption to do it yourself.

                • Margot

                  Fraid I can’t see your point.

                • Andy M

                  Well, you’re telling me to take a trip there, as if it’s something safe and easy to do. It isn’t. Are you telling me you’ve been there?

                • pdhan

                  Margot, you should go over there and tell them how naughty they are.

                • Margot

                  I think they’ve been told often enough! What they need is a good media making fun of them – something that Hitler was in dire need of. ‘Dinner jacket’ was a laughing stock but this new guy looks half human so it tends to be forgotten what he stands for.

        • Tom Tom

          The Shah had a secret police SAVAK trained by Shin Beth and working closely with Israel. That was, I assume, a regime of which you fully approved ?

          • Margot

            Are you joking! They replaced one bad regime with a far worse one. Is that what you approve of! Again, maybe they got what they deserved and I would still say that the designer-bag-toting pop. of Tehran are not showing much interest in upsetting the religious nutters’ status quo.

      • bwims

        You are a bit dim if you think modern populations bear any resemblance to those of classical times. Do the Italians bear any resemblance to the Romans? It won’t be long before the English become unrecognisable and Macmillan only starting the process 60 years ago, and it went exponential since Bliar got in.

        Not forgetting the mild impact of the psychotic paedophile who infected the minds of everyone in the ME before the modern state of Israel was born.

        • Tom Tom

          England was a Protestant nation in the years of its paramountcy – the
          decline of Protestantism is matched by the slide to insignificance and
          irrelevance

    • Kennybhoy

      Israelis are civilized and the Iranian government are nuts rather. Iran was Israel’s ally back in the day…

  • dalai guevara

    No mention of the top scaremongerer of them all – Ben Net.
    Remember that time bomb speech to the UN a year back? How we all laughed.

  • Mike Barnes

    So the neocons who said Iraq was a great idea are now saying that this is terrible. Is anybody listening?

    The reason that this deal happened is the fact the opposition to it has ZERO credibility left.

    • HookesLaw

      This ‘reporter’ represents a think tank which honours that rareity, a geniuine indeed seminal ‘neocon’.

      • Kennybhoy

        Are you David Lindsay in disguise?

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    Blair has come out in favour of the deal. Oh dear!

  • Lady Magdalene

    We have a second Heath in No.10 with Hague playing the part of Joe Chamberlain.
    Useless parasites.

    • Tom Tom

      Joe Chamberlain died in 1914 but he was a great imperialist and encouraged the Jameson Raid

  • scelfings

    Well done Cathy Ashton! No fuss, no cheap thrills, gets the job done. A credit to the UK.

    • Colonel Mustard

      It isn’t over yet, sonny. This is akin to 1938 and “peace in our time”.

      • Anthony

        Sorry, that’s rubbish. If you want a recent appeasement similar to 1938, then you have to look at the appeasement of Putin over Syria.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Don’t be sorry but wait and see. It will be rubbish only if this “deal” they are all bragging about works out and in the event I’ll be the first to admit it. Lefties always jump the gun with these things and swallow the soundbites. They are always ignorant of consequences, especially the unintended ones.

          • HookesLaw

            But he is right – Parliament voted to not even think about an intervention when they gassed children. And it was the thick right wing tory nutjobs who made that possible

            How do you expect to develop any leverage with these loonys now?

            • Colonel Mustard

              Keep on aiding the enemy. You might as well vote Labour in 2015.

            • Kennybhoy

              You ARE David Lindsay in disguise!

        • Bonkim

          that was allowing a mass murderer carry on killing.

    • DazEng

      Please use your Real name when posting Cathy!

      • Kennybhoy

        LOL

  • Peter Stroud

    Hague has lost all credibility since he was given the post of Foreign Secretary. He ha lost his Euro scepticism, and, together with Cameron, has become almost as Euro friendly as Ken Clarke. Now he has bowed to the EU: with its useless Cathy Ashton, and to Obama, betrayer of Israel. The Mulahs are laughing all the way to the mosque.

    • Andy

      Gone ‘native’ at the Foreign Office, that’s the problem.

      • Penny

        Andy – your comment made me smile. After the day I’ve had – cheers!

      • stephen rothbart

        Well it used to be said that the ex public school boys love a good looking man in a robe.

        The last time the FO sided with israel was ….never.

  • Rockin Ron

    The Iranians are a peace loving people. Their leaders on the other hand – well, who knows. I wouldn’t trust Hague to be smart enough to know the Iranians real intentions. Too young, too inexperienced.

    • HookesLaw

      Not like you

  • Smithersjones2013

    I was watching and listening to William Hague earlier today and I must
    say that it was a pathetic experience: a diminished figure trying to
    persuade a sceptical nation to support a demeaning deal. All he lacked
    was a winged collar, a piece of paper and the slogan: ‘nuclear peace in
    our time.’

    He hasn’t earned the nickname of ‘”Wet Willy EUnuch” for nothing! Of all the Tories in office Hague is probably the biggest disappointment.

    • Kennybhoy

      ” Of all the Tories in office Hague is probably the biggest disappointment …”

      Tell me about it…

      • hughtonks

        He has some stiff competition, too. IDS, Gove, Osborne, Hunt to name but a few …

      • Tom Tom

        really ? You actually rated the charlatan ?

    • bwims

      Probably the gap under a toilet door or the height of carpet pile as long as they keep their safe seats and expense troughs.

    • Treebrain

      “a demeaning deal.”

      Not at all, a deal that prevented war!

      • Newcombe

        Prevented a conventional war but allowed a nuclear one. Yeah, sounds like a good deal.

        • Roger Hudson

          The fallout doesn’t need to fall our way. Butt out should be the new British position. Wave that paper.” A far away country of which the British people don’t care a toss”

          • Penny

            I have some sympathy for that position, Roger. I think it quite understandable. But (there’s always one!), as a result of globalization – to say nothing of our oil dependency – is it always possible to butt out? That’s not to say it’s right to meddle but I suspect involvement seldom arises from altruism but rather the national interest. Personally, I think Iran has ambitions. Whether they will achieve them remains to be seen.

          • stephen rothbart

            Are you referring to nuclear fallout or economic? Either way your callous disregard for human life is appalling and shameful. And typical of the selfish “me first” attitude that has become prevalent in western society.

  • Dr Rip

    The political and diplomatic ineptitude/intent of the US and allied negotiators is staggering. The only positive feature being that this will fairly rapidly become evident and hopefully help stimulate a desperately needed change in attitude towards belligerent and bigoted theocracies.

  • Curnonsky

    Don’t Hague and Cameron (not to mention Kerry and Obama) ever stop to think why Israel and Saudi Arabia, who know rather more about Iran than they do, are dead-set opposed to this sham? All these clever men, these first-rate minds (or so we are constantly told), and the best they can negotiate is this transparently pathetic surrender?

    • Andy

      Exactly. Which is why the Saudis are livid and the Israelis pretty piss off too.

      • HookesLaw

        Saudis livid – yes the price of oil has dropped.

        • Andy

          It’s ok. It is gaining back the lost ground.

      • Makroon

        Almost the entire Israeli press are criticising mad-dog Netanyahu.
        America asked nicely that Israel should stop allowing more settlements in the occupied territories, and Likud told Obama to do one. Then they think they have a veto on an agreement with Iran ??
        The US is slowly waking up to just what a bunch of loons Likud are.
        The world has bigger fish to fry than pandering to Netanyahu’s tantrums.
        And now he’s threatening to “go it alone”. Clown.

        • HookesLaw

          Correct. The cold war is over and the US apart from domestic politics and basic humanity does not need Israel as a strategic ally.
          It has a right to exist and defend itself but no one needs an Israel which goes out of its way to increase the settlements against international law.

          • Penny

            International law is not set in stone. It’s open to interpretation. There is more than one legal interpretation with regard to the settlements.

            • Tom Tom

              Really ? Like the one used in the Warthegau or do you refer to the General Government under Hans Frank ?

              • Penny

                Tom Tom – why don’t you just tell me your interpretation of the international law that claims the settlements are illegal?

                • PreUnit

                  when a thief takes your land you don’t need a legal ruling to tell you it’s theft. Open your eyes – Israel is stealing Palestinian land day after day after after day – now it’s coming back to bite them as their fairweather friends find newer more rewarding friends to do their deals with.

                • Penny

                  So, you didn’t go away and read up on the history of the region then – as was suggested when we “met” last night on the Telegraph blog?

                  You really should.

                • PreUnit

                  you are convinced that Israel’s narrative equates to the truth… and there’s none so blind as those that will not see.

                • Penny

                  What have “narratives” to do with history?!?

                  As you seem not to be interested in learning the history of the region, but prefer a “narrative” that you have acquired from heaven-knows-where, you will continue to look rather silly.

                  If you are a genuine supporter of the Palestinian people then you would be cautious about this deal. As I have said somewhere in this thread, an attack on Israel will, without doubt, adversely affect the Palestinians. Even if the attack was limited to Israeli cities the infrastructure that interlinks the Israelis with the Palestinians would be damaged. Gas, water, electricity, banking, food supplies, roadways, emergency services – to name but a few – these are interlinked. With energy and water loss alone, the hazards would be immediate. The Mullahs of Iran clearly don’t care. But those who claim to care for the Palestinians should.

                • PreUnit

                  Iran has attacked no one in 200 years – compare that record to Israel’s and the real threat to the Palestinian people is quite obvious.

                • Penny

                  Can you tell me when Israel attacked the Palestinians?

                  You are aware of Iran’s proxies, are you not?

                  Are you suggesting that if Iran staged a nuclear attack on Israel it would not affect the Palestinians?

                • PreUnit

                  you are unaware that the Palestinian people have been attacked by the Israelis? Incredible!

                • Penny

                  And you’re doing a country dance around the issue.

                  An “attack” is when one side – unprovoked – hits another. A retaliation from the attacked side is called a “defence”
                  So please tell me when Israel – unprovoked – has attacked the Palestinians.

                • PreUnit

                  try 1947 for a start, during which time UN observers recorded the use of execution and rape as a means of ethnically cleansing Palestine. And where were you in 2008/9 when 400 Palestinian children met their deaths during the Israeli massacre of that territory – and don’t bother with the hasbara line of ‘retaliation for thousands of rockets’ – operation cast lead was a result of careful long term planning by the psychopaths who’ve consistently formed Israeli governments since that colony’s beginnings.

                • Penny

                  The Brits were still in control in 1947, PreUnit.

                  In 2008/9 Israel responded to years of rocket fire coming out of Gaza and into civilian areas. That’s not *hasbara* that’s fact. What you appear to be suggesting is that the rest of the world – knowing Cast Lead was the result of “long term planning by psychopaths” was fooled. The UN, the Arab world, the West, the many NGO’s, UNRWA, the UNSC, the inspectors, the media, the Press – all were fooled. But not you! Oh no!

                  You haven’t a clue.

                • PreUnit

                  shill of course.

                • Penny

                  PreUnit

                  Look – throwing around ad.hom remarks isn’t helpful in a discussion. It tends to indicate that the person doing so has no argument. You have to counter the arguments with facts, not daft accusations. And anyway, “Shill”, doesn’t apply because the internet gives everyone the ability to look up the facts.

                • AndrewMelville

                  Frequently both informally and formally for the past hundred odd years. Have you been living under a rock?

                • Penny

                  Well, Andrew, if I had been living under a rock, I have the reassurance that it is, at least, on this planet.

                  An “Informal” attack – how interesting. Given the lack of “formality”, how did the world miss such an event, but you found out?

                • AndrewMelville

                  Formal = attacks by the Israeli state
                  Informal = attacks by Jewish terrorists before and after the formation of the state.
                  Don’t be obtuse. Israel was founded in sin. The rights of the Palestinians were trampled. They continue to be oppressed. That said, they were hardly blameless themselves. Israel has a right to exist – because it does. Hard for the Palestinians to swallow, but they will have to. However, Israel will have to swallow that it has and is oppressing the Palestinians. It cannot continue to promote Israel (particularly as a Jewish state – nasty bit of bigotry there) if that must rest perpetually on injustice to others.

                  True friends of Israel, and I am one, would counsel it to get on with it. Crush the religious fanatics and bigots. Normalize relations with its neighbours and the Palestinians. Create a prosperous middle class of Palestinians and high levels of trade with its neighbours. That way lies long term peace and security.

                  An apartheid state constantly warring with its neighbours will not stand forever. Sparta could not keep the helots down forever. The Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem did not last much beyond one hundred years. Let’s hope Israel can reform and last longer.

                • Penny

                  Israel was founded in sin? The rights of the Palestinians were trampled? How so? The Arabs (they did not describe themselves as Palestinians then so we are looking at different periods of history) had no autonomy under the Ottoman empire which, as you know, did not fall until post WW1. They had no state. States emerged or re-emerged following WW1 and the collapse of both the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires – why, then, is Israel the only one born in sin?

                  The “true friend of Israel” thing is a little old hat. As is the “Apartheid state” thing. You would have to stretch the definition of apartheid some way beyond its meaning to apply it to Israel.

                  You airbrush out the huge problems in Palestinian society itself. They are not being prepared for peace and their “friends” do little to encourage that. Treat them as adults – not wayward children.

                • AndrewMelville

                  Penny,

                  I invite you not to be doctrinaire. You know how. There was no Palestinian state, but there was a society and a people who owned their own land. In order to create Israel ( a rather wonderful thing) something had to be destroyed. It is that destruction and the subsequent treatment of the Palestinians which is Israel’s sin.

                  And no Israel isn’t alone in its sin (I never said it was) – there were lots of horrific acts which created or changed states. One horror doesn’t make another horror right.

                  How impertinent you are to say old hat. I am sincere. Members of my family whom I love live in Israel; I fear for their safety. But while I prefer their safety over the rights of Palestinians or anyone else for that matter, my intellectual faculties still operate. I refuse to pretend that Israel was created in an empty land. It was not: the native population was brutalized, terrorized, bought out and chased out. The ones that remain are second class citizens in Israel proper and helots in the Occupied Territories.

                  That doesn’t mean that I am prepared to see Israel damaged or destroyed. I’m not – breaking the new thing won’t restore the old thing. But logic and a sense of history makes it clear that Israel will fall sooner (unlikely) or later (almost certainly) if it does not make peace with its neighbours inside and outside its military borders. That would be a tragedy; I don’t want it to happen – so I want Israel to start moving towards an accommodation.

                  I don’t pretend it will be easy. There are fanatics who hate Jews and Israel and only want to kill the one and destroy the other. News flash: most Palestinians aren’t fanatics though. Israel has maniacal bigots who hate and kill non-Jews too – but those loonies don’t represent the vast majority of Israelis anymore than the Palestinian loonies represent their whole society. But keep people penned up in a big cage without hope or a future and poke them constantly with a stick – well it tends to win more recruits for the loonies. For the sake of its long term security, Israel has to normalize relations with all its neighbours.

                • Penny

                  Andrew – there were societies across the middle east that were in upheaval. Such is the way of things when empires collapse and autonomous states emerge. When Jordan annexed the WB and Jerusalem, Jews were also driven out.

                  You have airbrushed out the reason for Arabs leaving the area and attribute every flight to Israeli action.This is not the case – unless you are fond of revisionist history. You make no mention of the rejection of partition or the hostilities that led to the war of independence and the attack of the 5 Arab armies who, although having nation states of their own, could not tolerate Jews in their midst. The Arabs in mandate Palestine could have had a state in 1947 – they rejected it. And they have continued to do so to this day.

                  You reduce an entire people – the Palestinians – down to children with no say in their own future and make only one party responsible for making peace – which is a ludicrous notion. You cannot “force” peace on another people. They have to agree to terms and thus far, they have not – despite the offers and opportunities. To imply that this is Israel’s fault is to demonstrate a huge gap in understanding of the history of the conflict and the political spectrum within Palestinian society. Mahmoud Abbas should have allowed elections in 2009. Why didn’t he do so? He has Israeli bodyguards. Why do you think that is? I can assure you it is not to protect him from Israelis!

                  Andrew – I see no point in addressing your comments any further. They are incredibly slanted, factually wrong. wildly exaggerated, provocatively emotive and admit no culpability that cannot be attributed to Israel. To say that you have over-simplified the issues is, to put it rather mildly – an understatement.

                  And I am not without personal insight. I, too, have friends in Israel, wider family links to the Arab ME and have myself lived in the region – including Jerusalem.

                • stephen rothbart

                  And this has exactly what relevance to the subject brought up by Douglas Murray?

                  Israel is not the only one who is complaining about this “deal” since it was signed by 5 states that don’t even represent the people living next to Iran.

                  The fact is that BBC “non-reporting” notwithstanding, the Iranians have contradicted everything Hague said in his speech and Kerry said in his. They accused Obama of lying and releasing his announcement that was written a full day before the signing and was thus evidence that “Geneva” was a sham.

                  Saudi Arabia, who first broke the story that Obama had been in negotiation with Iran for over a year before Geneva, called Obama a liar. And if you think the approach to Iran was because they elected Rouhani the “moderate,” then who was Obama talking to before Rouhani was elected? Khamenei I hope because he is the only one who can make a decision. But then that means this deal was not because Iran had shown a sign of becoming more liberal, but that in order to “sell” the deal to the world, Obama and Khamenei had to find a “moderate” to front it.

                  Are Hague and the Foreign Office so out of touch they did not know all this when they sat down in Geneva, or were they part of the subterfuge?

                  This is the question we should all be asking.

                  Technically, under the terms of Hague’s own speech, Geneva is already dead. By disagreeing with Obama’s statements about enrichment, Iran’s leaders are already in breach.

                  It should be cancelled, but it won’t be, because nothing must interfere in the egos of Obama, Kerry, Hague and Ashton that would make them look like liars or at best incompetent and outclassed negotiators.

                • stephen rothbart

                  Gooooaaaallll!

                • stephen rothbart

                  Ah! Another person who seems to believe Israel has been around for over 100 years.

                  Really, you should work in the British Foreign Office. With your understanding of the region, you would fit right in.

                • AndrewMelville

                  How tiresome you are. Don’t willfully misread others comments.

                • Roger Hudson

                  1948, invasion of Jaffa is a great example , the first of many.

                • Penny

                  That’s airbrushing out November 1947, Roger. And the obvious intentions of Egypt.

                • stephen rothbart

                  Iran has attacked:
                  1. Jews in Argentina and elsewhere.
                  2. Iraq.
                  3. Saudi Arabia
                  4. Lebanon
                  5. Syrians opposed to Assad
                  6. Fatah Palestinians
                  7 The UK by arresting RN ships in international waters
                  8 The US since 1983
                  Just for starters.

                • PreUnit

                  compare that to the wars started by the zionist entity.

          • Kennybhoy

            Jesus wept Hooky you sound like Lindsay!

            Taking the side of a brutal theocratic dictatorship against a liberal democracy threatened with nuclear attack? For shame!

            • wessexman

              I’m not a great fan of the Iranian regime, but since when did Toryism boil down to cheerleading liberal democracy, democratic capitalism, or similar ideologies.

              Liberalism and democracy are not beyond criticism from a Tory and conservative viewpoint and it is certainly not our job to spread our own particular forms of government and society to all corners of the globe.

              • Kennybhoy

                “I’m not a great fan…”

                Fan? Hardly the word I would chose in the particular circumstances but to each his own…

                “… since when did Toryism…”

                When did I ever say that I was a Conservative/Tory?

                “…cheerleading liberal democracy, democratic capitalism, or similar ideologies.”

                David Lindsay in disguise.

                • wessexman

                  Who is David Lindsay? Also, I’m not sure your reply had much substance to it. You don’t really make a substantive point.

            • Roger Hudson

              A liberal democracy carved out of another nation and hiding behind an iron wall.

              • Kennybhoy

                Christ! It’s like kicking over a rock and watching what scurries out from under…

                • Penny

                  There’s worse: take a look at the comments below Peter Oborne’s article in the DT. You may want to run a bath…..

                • Kennybhoy

                  Penny. It’s an Oborne article. What did you expect? I daily await the announcement of his “reversion”! :-)

                • Penny

                  Even so – it’s like the annual meet-up of low IQ conspiracy fans, afflicted with a paranoia made considerably worse by the magic mushroom omelette they were served for lunch.

                  It is heaving – and the excitement is palpable. Team Iran v Team Israel. Not a jot of real awareness about the significance of this deal – just the opportunity to indulge in their pet topic.

                  I can only hope that Oborne had to work night and day to produce his article because it’s been a waste of time (no change there, I know). No one has bothered to read it. The heady scent of Israel-Iran-Nuclear….and they were off! Venting steam like old boilers.

              • stephen rothbart

                Oh? Which nation was that exactly?

          • bwims

            International defined by what exactly? The same sort of jokers who run the EHCR? There really is no such thing. Law is defined by sovereign nations. When Iran strings up homosexuals, is that not breaking a law as we define it? For an “international” law to be taken seriously, it has to be signed up to by all the nations, and clearly Israel did not sign up to it. Quite right too, what about the constant rocket bomb attacks by Hamas? It takes two to tango.

            • PreUnit

              I suppose you would have objected to International law if it had ruled illegal the behaviour of the Nazis to Gypsies, Trade Unionists and Jews.

        • Penny

          *Some* of the Israeli press are criticising Netanyahu – but at least they have the right to do so. On the Press Freedom ranking Iran is 191st out of 196 countries. It remains to be seen whether their criticisms are right or whether their optimism is on par with the BBC who, as I recall, greeted the first events in Tahrir Sq as if Egypt would turn into Switzerland by the following Tuesday.

          But while it’s all rather satisfying to describe Netanyahu in *mad-dog* terms, he – and those states which do not approve this deal (not that it’s actually been signed off yet) – are quite obviously in possession of more information than you or I. Israel’s concerns are not foolish or party-pooping. We need to understand the region, the mindset, the players and the potentials here.

          I don’t think Netanyahu will go it alone – but he’s not the only leader disturbed by the turn of events and claiming the right to decide his own country’s policy.

          • Tom Tom

            As a CIA agent Netanyahu must have so much info through his AIPAC sponsored Senators as to make him dance a jig

            • bwims

              You really are a w’nker.

              • Tom Tom

                Why are you so impolite ? We could look at Netanyahu’s role inside Heli Trading and how 810 krytons disappeared from the USA to Israel in 14 shipments. The role of MILCO and LAKAM and how the CIA continues to hold 164 pages classified files on Netanyahu and Project Pinto

                • Penny

                  What are your sources for this, Tom Tom?

                • Newcombe

                  He doesn’t need any sources, just like that gadget (his namesake), he relies on guesswork and invariably gets it wrong.

                • Kennybhoy

                  I cannot make up my mind whether you are “just” a conspiracist loon or maybe an FSB shill. Or of course both. The options are not mutually exclusive…

              • PreUnit

                takes one to know one.

            • Penny

              Ah – you like a good old Zionist conspiracy-type take on politics Tom Tom?

    • Tom Tom

      Yes Saudi Arabia, fake state created several thousand years AFTER Iran
      having pilfered its technology and imposed Islam on the Iranians only to
      discover they are partisans of Ali rather than the thugs that usurped
      the line just as the Saudis are a tribe that simply took the shrines
      from the Hashemites to bolster their fake nation

      • Makroon

        Iran only became “partisans of Ali” in the 17th century under the Safavids, and mainly to differentiate themselves from the (Sunni) Ottoman enemy.
        At the time of the Arab invasions, Iran was Zoroastrian (a monotheistic, native aryan religion). Initially, the Arabs accepted Zoroastrianism as a “religion of the book” and did not impose the “jisya” (the Arab tax on non-Muslims). Later they reversed this decision and became increasingly repressive to Zoroastrians.
        Eventually, of course, the wealthier Zoroastrians decamped to India forming the Parsee community
        Iran’s loss, India’s great gain.

        • Roger Hudson

          The total crazyness of the 7er/ 12er schism is a great example of why religion is nuts.

          • Penny

            Oh, I don’t know. I find myself increasingly drawn the the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    • bwims

      Obama is working for jihad, the crypto-Muslim.

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    You have to hand it to the Iranian negotiators, they’ve played a blinder, run rings round Kerry & Ashton.

    • Faceless Bureaucrat

      That said, a slug with a hernia could run rings around those two…

    • chan chan

      As the writer says, they weren’t up against much. This is truly a poor generation of politicians, Ashton being the nadir. She makes Kerry look like Kissinger.

      • The Laughing Cavalier

        They did the same to Straw a few years ago.

        • Daniel Maris

          Straw by name, Straw by nature. He really fell for the Mullah Madness.

      • Tom Tom

        The best foreign ministry innthe world today is in Moscow under Lavrov

    • Andy

      A dead ferret could run rings around those two.

      • Daniel Maris

        An octopus with one leg could run rings round those two.

        • bwims

          A very very very long centipede could do it, but I suppose that doesn’t prove anything.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      “run rings round Kerry & Ashton.”
      Never give a sucker an even break, and never wise up a chump.

  • swatnan

    Its the first step in achieving peace in the Middle East and is to be applauded.
    The sheer affrontary and two faced hypocrisy of Israel is absolutely amazing.

    • Tom M

      Peace in the middle East? Do you really think that another state with the capacity to manufacture and the stated intention to use nuclear weapons is a step towards peace?

      • NotYouNotSure

        Actually I think it is. The regime of Mao was in fact more dangerous and crazy than anything what Iran has to offer, it developed nuclear weapons, but ultimately China become responsible. Likewise, the atrocities that were committed in the USSR and China were far worse than anything that Iran has committed, that did not stop past politicians from wanting to improve relations, as all reasonable foreign relations should be driven by.

        • JoshuaCzajkowski

          The difference being that although China and the Soviets believed in a brutal, totalitarian system…they were logical enough to see, that the idea of mutually assured destruction, was very unappealing. Under the doctrine of extreme-Islam, the mullahs believe that the idea of mass death is quite a nice idea…so long as all the Jews, homosexuals, apostates and westerners are also wiped out in the process.

          • NotYouNotSure

            I don’t buy this, because if the Mullahs really were interested in bringing on the apocalypse they would have launched missiles with poison gas on Israel by now. Since they have not, I am going with the what all politicians in the world care about first – their own self preservation.

            • JoshuaCzajkowski

              You’re assuming that just because a person(or people) are rulers of a nation that they’re reasonable, rational humans…don’t.

            • Penny

              Doesn’t that rather depend on the range of a missile with a gas load? I’m no expert so am open to correction, but previous usage seems to have been short range.

            • Andy

              A wonderful piece of self delusion. Allowing the turban tyrants to get hold of a bomb has to be the dimmest and most stupid decision possible. We will all live to regret it.

              • Makroon

                They already have the bomb.
                Or perhaps you’ve never heard of Pakistan ?
                Much more unstable and extremist than Iran has ever been.
                But not so close to Israel – I guess that’s the important part.

                • Andy

                  And pity the day Pakistan got hold of a bomb.

                • Tom Tom

                  but Britain facilitated that

            • DazEng

              They are on record as saying they could withstand a nuclear attack from Israel because of the size of the population and the size of the country which is why they can launch one against the only civilised country in the dump of a region.

              • Tom Tom

                Which is exactly what Mao said about an attack from the USA

                • DazEng

                  Yeah, and what a chirpy little piece of free paradise China is? Why don’t you nip over there and flog some democracy?

            • Liberty

              Iran does not attack Israel now [other than through terrorism] because they know that Israel can fend off any rockets and reply with devastating force. That is why they want nuclear weapons, for a one shot win trusting that Israel will not nuke them preemptively.

              • Tom Tom

                Israel won’t nuke anyone pre-emptively because its nuclear triggers do not work

            • Baron

              You reckon then poison gas shells are on par with nuclear devices? You what?, bonkers?

        • Daniel Maris

          …and North Korea? Yes, notably more sensible since they got the Bomb.

        • Baron

          Your thinking ain’t goof enough, NotYouNotSure.

          The communist regimes, and that includes the North Koreans today who have the nukes and the delivery systems (if of poor quality) have never said they wanted to eradicate anyone, but merely to conquer and convert those who haven’t yet embraced their creed. The religious fruitcakes of Iran have said publicly, as did the Austrian corporal last century, they want to exterminate a whole race, and as the said Adolf, they mean it.

          This, my blogging partner, makes more than a smidgen of difference, wouldn’t you think?

        • Tom M

          Your logic is astounding. On that basis then if we wish to ensure world peace we should be assisting all beligerant nations to acquire nuclear weapons.

      • Tom Tom

        Yes, it is time for Israel to surrender it bio and chemical weapons

        • Tom M

          Typically missing the point or avoiding the issue under discussion with another question.
          Given that what you ask for isn’t going to happen this side of Christmas I’ll ask again. Do you really think that giving someone else the OK to manufacture nuclear weapons is a good thing?

    • chan chan

      Yeah, those Evil Jooz are such a menace!

      • Penny

        Their hammers, nails, bricks, mortar and whatever else you need to build a conservatory where it shouldn’t be (under international law) is going to take us all to war. Apparently.

    • Penny

      No it isn’t. It has the potential to encourage more nuclear arms in the region.

      As for Israel – you’ll notice that there is rather more alarm in the Sunni states about Iran going nuclear than has been the case for Israel.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Hey swatnan you like “marxist philosophy” right? Here you go, a bit of “marxist philosophy” in action:-

      “The couple suspected of holding three women in London for more than 30 years have been named as Aravindan and Chanda Balakrishnan. A senior council source confirmed the pair were arrested last week by police amid allegations they held the women for decades and inflicted “physical and mental abuse”. The couple, aged 73 and 67, are believed to have been well-known to the police in the 1970s after setting up a communist squat, the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre, in Acre Lane, Brixton in 1976. Balakrishnan, who was known as Comrade Bala, was a former member of the national executive committee of the Communist party of England (Marxist-Leninist) but documents show he was suspended from the party in 1974 for pursuing “conspiratorial and splittist activities”. Documents also show how in 1978 police raided the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre arresting 14 members of the organisation, including Aravindan Balakrishnan and wife Chanda, referred to as Comrade Chanda.”

      • swatnan

        The situation is more akin to religious cults than true Marxism, although admitedly both have brainwashing and mind control in common. Thats why its going to be difficult bringing charges and making them stick. Marxism envisaged the mill workers as being enslaved and urged them to throw off the chains.

        • HookesLaw

          Going to be difficult to bring charges???

          • Makroon

            I agree with swatnam, a cult, freely joined ?
            However, the press jumped the gun big-time (again), with their claims of “slavery”, and now need some blood to justify their hype.

        • Colonel Mustard

          I struggle to differentiate between a religious cult and ‘true Marxism’ since the behaviour of adherents of the latter is more often than not indistinguishable from that of disciples of the former.

          Has not Marxism in its various adulterated, cloaked, quasi, collectivised and indirect forms not usurped the Christian religion in Britain and indeed suborned the Anglican Church as the principal religion of, what, some 40% of the population? That we have become a socialist country promulgated by government is not in doubt and we are now moving inexorably towards the totalitarian from mildly but increasingly authoritarian stage. You probably have to be old to appreciate the extent of this “progress” though.

      • HookesLaw

        Not sure its a good example since the UK Communist party (marxist lenninist of course) threw them out.

        • Kennybhoy

          FFS ARE YOU LINDSAY IN DISGUISE?

    • DazEng

      Remind me again how many “Moral Police” the Israelis have?

      • sarah_13

        The supreme court is a good start.

        • DazEng

          Aahh, Bless you. I for one think it very sweet they let the retarded post on here.

    • David Lindsay.

      The second sentence is apposite.
      But the first is not.
      Why do you want to applaud a deal that delays arms parity in the Middle East.
      Until the 2 faced hypocritical Israelis are opposed by a credible force they will not make peace with the Palestinians.

      • swatnan

        Let talk nonproliforation rather than arms parity, and set Iran onto the path of peaceful nuclear energy. The next step is to persuade Israel to destroy its nuclear arsenal. Israel is the greatest source of insecurity in the Middle East.

        • sarah_13

          I don’t agree, I think they are probably part of the stability, without israel there, the sunni and shia would be doing precisely what they are presently doing in Syria right across the region.

          • Penny

            Quite sarah.

            Some months ago I went – with my Egyptian-born husband – to hear Palestinian-Jordanian Mudar Zahran speak. He said “the Arabs hate each other more than they hate the Jews”. I found that startling, looked at my husband whose slight nod of the head confirmed Mudhar’s comment. I later asked him why he’d never mentioned this before. He said he thought it was pretty self-evident.

        • Colonel Mustard

          You need to bone up on your Arab history if you believe Israel is the “greatest source of insecurity in the Middle East”.

          • David Lindsay.

            J’accuse.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Yes, I gather that. But it is a pointless and unfair accusation because I had nothing to do with the deletion of your comments. Put aside your tendencies to demonise for once. I see no benefit in censoring what you have to say. It is far too useful.

      • Kennybhoy

        Antisemitic loon!

        • David Lindsay.

          There is a world of difference between antisemitism and a strategic view on balance of power and respect for the rights of the Palestinians.

      • Baron

        David, you’ve never explained how one makes a deal with someone who cannot be trusted.

      • Penny

        The problem with the “credible force” – as I see it, anyway – is that if it is used against Israel and involves a nuke, the Palestinians will get it, too. The two live pretty much cheek-by-jowl on a tiny patch of land. There’s no “magic” bomb that seeks and finds Israelis while scrupulously avoiding Palestinians. There’s no “magic” bomb that can leave all the infrastructure required by Palestinians intact, while destroying Israel’s.

    • sarah_13

      What effrontery? Israel is understood to have gathered the most information and intelligence on Iran , this is compared to any other country in the world. They actually know who they are dealing with. Do you think ex CND member Baroness Ashton knows who she is dealing with? Israel will be the first on the list of targets the day the Iranians have a bomb. The day their less rational neighbours, saudi, pakistan, eqypt etc THINK they have a bomb the race for nuclear capability amongst these unstable nations will gather pace(obviously pakistan already has nuclear weapons). The day Iran has this capability or is thought to have the capability the balance of power will change in the middle east, blackmail will be the order of the day. Think Samali pirates writ large. Israel isn’t fighting a regime which tortures ITS OWN PEOPLE for nothing. They are doing it precisely because they value the lives of their own people highly. I presume you mean by two faced affrontery that Israel has nuclear capability? They have it for good reason it keeps the peace. Israel is at the forefront of most technology these days, they are an allie of the west and share intelligence regularly, are trusted and valued by western allies, yet Ashton and Kerry prefer to be hostage to fortune and hope against hope that Iran is being sincere this time. They are fools. Israel knows you treat the Iranian regime with respect, take them at all their words and don’t let your finger off the pulse for a moment.

      • Makroon

        Calm down dear, you’ll have a seizure.

        • sarah_13

          Thanks so much for your concern.

  • CharlietheChump

    This nonsense will unravel quite quickly with the consequence that the Saudis have now been given the green light to proceed with their own Khan designed weapons and the tension gets wound up a further notch.
    Cathy Ashton, another Broon bomb waiting to go off.

    • Tom Tom

      Saudi Arabia is a joke……they want to buy 15 submarines from Germany but will probably have to recruit Germans to man them. Bin Laden was right about the Saudi “royal” family it is corrupt and should be removed so it can develop into a modern state

      • John

        Ha Ha Ha I like it – nice one.

      • Icebow

        A comment of mine in reply to yours was made partly as a test of the Spectator censorship function. They may have anti-Spoonerism software.

        • Kennybhoy

          LOL

      • Roger Hudson

        So this joke is the farce phase , next it should be the tragedy then.

    • Roger Hudson

      Big sanctions on Israel and Saudi are the answer, now please.

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