Iranian threat

Alan Hinnrichs (Letters, 6 March) splutters that “a tiny band of fanatics within the Likud Party in Israel and neocon lunatics in Washington” apply pressure on the United States and Israel.

The truth is that millions of people round the world want some sort of action to be taken, if only to finish off the world’s most ruthless tyranny, a fanatical regime that kills and tortures inside its borders and far beyond.

We are not all fanatics or lunatics. I have known Iran since the late 1960s, I have an MA and PhD in Persian Studies, and I claim to know much better than Mr Hinnrichs what goes on there.

I am certainly not an ill-informed fanatic or a lunatic.

The regime itself is driven in part by messianic beliefs and religious fanaticism. The Iranian leadership is far from rational. Large numbers of scholars, politicians and nuclear experts agree the regime is almost certainly building nuclear weapons.

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Once it possesses them, its first target will be Israel, a country it has threatened to destroy time out of number. Before the start of the Second World War, there were people like Mr Hinnrich who thought that Adolf Hitler had no aggressive intentions and was, more or less, a social worker.

When someone threatens to kill you, you had best take him seriously. We are now very near, possibly within months, of an Iranian weapon.

If we allow the regime to get that far, its baneful influence on the Middle East, on oil prices, on the spread of terrorism (already its speciality), on the genocide of the Jews in Israel, on the men and women it currently imprisons, hangs and stones to death, on the religious minorities it oppresses, on human rights of every kind (which it disregards), and on the students it beats to a pulp for calling for democracy, will be magnified.

And no-one, certainly not the Alan Hinnrichses of the world, will lift a finger to stop it. Who would dare? So, let Iran build its nuclear weapons, Alan, and pray you’re out of its reach.

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(Dr) Denis MacEoin

Lindisfarne Close

Newcastle upon Tyne