The Iran crisis should be solved with words not weapons

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Sunday 05 January 2020 19:49
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Shia Muslims march to protest against the US airstrike that killed Soleimani
Shia Muslims march to protest against the US airstrike that killed Soleimani

The killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force, has raised a number of concerns about the consequences for the relationship between America and Iran.

It will certainly not bring them any closer to a peaceful resolution. You can’t bomb yourself to peace.

The imagery that US president Donald Trump is putting forward seems wrong to many. The surprise bombing is the modern-day equivalent of a sheriff shooting the bad guy in the back, and that was never the way of the hero.

Wars and any dispute need to be solved by words, not weapons.

Dennis Fitzgerald Melbourne

Talking to the US

For once I find myself pleased to read about Jeremy Hunt, when he argues that we should be using our influence with the US to argue for a more consistent US policy.

Dominic Raab, on the other hand, is demonstrating the same clumsiness that Boris Johnson brought to the job of foreign secretary, saying that the UK government is “sympathetic” to the situation the Americans found themselves in.

If, as he claims, our focus is on restoring calm, then he should be speaking plainly to his US counterparts, pointing out the folly of acts of naked aggression and an escalation of threats, in particular threats to strike targets important to Iranian culture.

One can only hope that Mr Raab comes to his senses before meeting US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, and shows a modicum of statesmanship. The situation is extremely dangerous, and the UK’s most useful role is to seek to tone down the rhetoric and not be seen to take sides.

Lynda Newbery Bristol

Distancing ourselves

Three reasons to distance ourselves from Donald Trump.

The life of one American contractor means far more to him than the lives of tens of thousands killed by America as “collateral damage”.

His ego means even more to him.

He is ignorant but believes he knows it all so he will never listen and learn. His ignorance on the Middle East is terrifying.

Our “special relationship” will have to wait for a different US president.

Jon Hawksley London

Time for a change

Now that the entertainer known as Meatloaf has added his name to the climate change-deniers’ cause, I must respectfully suggest that he attempts to get out of his air-conditioned apartment a bit more?​

Robert Boston Kingshill, Kent

A tale of love

Re: “Twilight love”, Sui-Lee Wee, Birds of a Feather

How openly, positively, the older people of China are talking about their lives. It’s a joy reading their comments about love and life and refreshing that they are searching for a happy future, with a new partner.

I remember how happy a friend of mine was when she found love, and a good man, to share her later life. The couple’s lives simply “took off” in her words. They did ordinary things – joined clubs, had short break holidays, had “adventures” using their bus passes, etc.

It was lovely to see them enjoy each other and live their lives to the full. They had a fun-packed nine years together before she tragically passed away.

Perhaps we should take heed of China’s older population in order to seek happiness in the twilight years if alone in the world.

Although children are a blessing, they have lives and families of their own to look after, and with all the good will in the world having someone to rely on, care for and love/like is beneficial. Being able to share experiences, be active and laugh together helps us to stay healthy and enjoy life.

Long live love!

Keith Poole Basingstoke

Time wasted not gained

SNP MPs are to spend less time at Westminster and more time in their constituencies. Constituency work is, of course, an important part of an MP’s responsibilities.

However, the intention is not that SNP MPs should be doing more to represent their constituents, but rather that they will be representing the SNP’s pie-in-the-sky separatist rhetoric more forcefully to their constituents, to allay any fears that they have about Scexit and win them over to voting for it.

In 2020 there will be a rare year in which most people needn’t worry about canvassers. In Scotland, we will not be so fortunate. Still, I expect I shall be spared it: I shall already be marked down as a recalcitrant on whom time should not be wasted. ​

Jill Stephenson Edinburgh

A taste for power

After nearly a decade of divisive referendum campaigning, UK political leaders from left to right begin 2020 seeking reconciliation – with one notable exception: Nicola Sturgeon.

Despite senior figures in the SNP and most Scots understanding indyref2 won’t happen any time soon, Ms Sturgeon continues to pursue another cessation referendum this year – that she too knows she can’t deliver. So why bother?

While others choose conciliation, Ms Sturgeon, to maintain a grip on power, persists in her ceaseless, divisive narrative.

Martin Redfern Edinburgh

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