OpinionIran in the World PressWe should listen to Tony Blair on Iran

We should listen to Tony Blair on Iran

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Daily Telegraph – Comment: Mr Blair is a well-briefed ex-prime minister whose views, like those of his predecessors, should command our attention.

The Daily Telegraph

Telegraph View: Mr Blair is a well-briefed ex-prime minister whose views, like those of his predecessors, should command our attention.

Telegraph View

Tony Blair was jeered at the Chilcot Inquiry when he said that he “profoundly” regretted the loss of innocent life in Iraq. This is a man who, more than any retired politician, is used to the sound of jeers – and worse: hysterical cries of “Bliar!”, “war criminal!” and so on. So relentless is the chorus that the public has given up trying to listen to what he has to say, assuming that it is all glib self-justification (which, to be fair, is one of his specialities).

But when he spoke yesterday, Mr Blair did more than discuss events that are now receding into history. He told us that Iran poses a “looming, coming challenge” to world peace. “I’m out in that region the whole time,” he said. “I see the impact and influence of Iran everywhere. It is negative, destabilising. It is supportive of terrorist groups. It is doing everything it can to impede progress in the Middle East peace process.” The West, he said, must get its “head out of the sand” and tackle the Iranian menace, by force if necessary.

How should we respond to his warning? Ignore it because he made mistakes in Iraq and therefore nothing he says can be trusted? His analysis of Iran is based on far more reliable information than was available about Saddam’s Iraq. Like him or not, Mr Blair is a well-briefed ex-prime minister whose views, like those of his predecessors, should command our attention. And, as it happens, he is right about Iran.

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