OpinionIran in the World PressIran mischief-making is a threat to our troops

Iran mischief-making is a threat to our troops


The Scotsman – Leaders: Alex Salmond has lost no opportunity to promote Scotland and Scottish values round the world. The Scotsman


ALEX Salmond has lost no opportunity to promote Scotland and Scottish values round the world.

Indeed, the First Minister’s chutzpah in this area is one of the reasons why he has enjoyed a long political honeymoon. And for its part, the Scottish National Party has made no secret of its ambitions for Scotland to have a foreign and defence policy separate from that of the UK. Mr Salmond as party leader and as an SNP MP has made clear his strong opposition to the Iraq war and his wish for a Middle East policy
stance distinct from and separate to that of the Westminster and US governments.

Now Iranian diplomats have responded by praising Mr Salmond and the SNP administration for their anti-war stance and suggesting that they have more in common with the Iran regime than the UK government. Rasoul Movahedian, the ambassador of the Islamic republic, in a visit to the Scottish Parliament yesterday, told The Scotsman that Scotland and Iran shared “similar views” on many issues such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and nuclear non- proliferation.

Oh, really? However this is taken in Bute House, this is mischief-making on Iran’s part, and pandering to it would put Scottish soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan in a most difficult position. Iran has an obvious interest in driving a wedge, not only between Washington and London, but between the administrations in Edinburgh and Westminster, hoping by so doing to undermine the UK’s critical stance on Iran and its commitment to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The administration in Edinburgh does not, of course, have a competence in foreign policy matters. These are reserved to the UK parliament and will remain so until voters in Scotland indicate decisively otherwise in a constitutional referendum. Until that is held, forays into global defence and security policy should be avoided, unless legitimately raised by SNP MPs in Westminster. The status quo does not prevent anti- war views from being aired in the Commons, so the present settlement is in no way a gag.

Such subtleties are unlikely to deter the Iranians, who will look at any and every opportunity to weaken the stance taken by the UK government and to open up divisions which could be capable of misrepresentation. It would not be right, for example, for Iran to gain the impression that the administration in Scotland favours the development of Iranian nuclear capability, given the SNP’s staunch opposition to nuclear weapons at home.

Scottish soldiers, as part of a wider deployment of UK troops, deserve particular attention in this context. It would be quite wrong to compromise the missions they are undertaking on our behalf. Debate can legitimately focus on how that mission is best accomplished. But allowing Iran to gain the impression that Scotland can be used for its own purposes should be strongly discouraged.

Latest news

Khamenei’s Disgraceful Campaign Against Piranshahr and Javanrud, Who Will Be the Loser?

On the 67th day of Iran’s revolution, the Iranian regime attempted to put a halt to the protests in...

Iran: Expensive Medicine, Cheap Human Life

A look at the equipment and weapons that the Iranian regime has been using against its people to suppress...

Who Is Abolqasem Salavati Iran Regime’s Killer Judge?

Last week, it was announced that the case of several people who were arrested during the Iranian People's uprising...

Iran Revolution Characteristics

More than two months have passed since the start of the latest round of protests in Iran against the...

Iran’s Regime Is Unable To Eradicate Protests

Totalitarian governments, whether be it a monarchy or a clerical regime, and their international supporters are pursuing the same...

Ten Percent of Iran’s Nation Is Ready To Sacrifice Itself for Freedom

According to estimates by the Iranian regime’s main opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), more than...

Must read

Materazzi senior keen on Iran post

AFP: Italian coach Giuseppe Materazzi said on Tuesday he...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you