See earlier letters on

Dear David Cameron,

Thank you for explaining your policy position.

There are two problems with it though. In principle it violates the spirit and letter of the NPT, to which the UK and the Islamic Republic of Iran are signatories. In practice it passively facilitates the Bush administration’s upcoming war with Iran, and indeed it facilitates the PM’s facilitation of the Bush administration’s upcoming war (for war it is if nobody does anything to stop it). Indeed your policy makes Gordon Brown’s policy look like reckless political adventurism.

As in the case of Iraq (assuming there will be anybody left) the truth will out and it will become just as clear that we have been stampeded into another war, but on ‘pragmatic’ rather than ‘idealistic’ grounds this time. The same cast that herded us into the last war are behind this one and the same people that warned us about the folly of the last one are repeating their warnings with ElBaradei inviting us to read his lips again yesterday: “I have not received any information that there is a concrete active nuclear weapons program going on right now”.

That Iran is destabilising Iraq or Afghanistan is belied by the fact their governments praise Iran’s constructive influence and condemn American short-sightedness, insensitivity and brutality. The American’s latest hair-brained scheme makes a great story at home but is shortsighted—arming paramilitaries may work for a while but in the long run they will find an alternative use for their guns not so conducive to their government and armourers. Does the fact that the sovereign government of Iraq is vehemently objecting to these activities count for anything? We don’t know when this bright idea will unravel but of this much we can be certain: the Iranians will be responsible (or maybe the Syrians if it is more convenient, but who knows).

Do we know of any military losing to guerrillas that has not blamed outside agents for their woes? There has been much analysis of the American claims and the great majority of them fall apart when the tyres are kicked: some tie ups between Hezbollah and Shia paramilitaries are plausible but not much else. (While Hezbollah and Iran are allied they are of course distinct.)

Check out what the likes of Ron Paul or Pat Buchanan are saying or the articles turning up in the American Conservative:

  • Superpower Trip: Plagued by narcissism and impatience, U.S. foreign policy betrays all of the symptoms of Criminal Thinking
  • Sycophant Savior: General Petraeus wins a battle in Washington—if not in Baghdad [note that this is quite different from the mainstream/herd perspective and more congruent with Petraeus’s superior’s assessment (an ‘an ass-kissing little chickenshit’)];
  • Rudy Bombs in London: America’s mayor poses as the heir to Churchill and Thatcher

Or Fukuyama’s latest article:

Check out Ron Paul getting Bill Maher’s progressive audience cheering almost deliriously.

Look I have never been a Conservative and had serious problem with their 1980s programme but I don’t believe in one party states. Shouldn’t you be doing your job as an opposition beyond posturing weekly for TV cameras? Can you not see that the Conservative adherence to the government line on Iraq was a disaster for yourselves and the country (and the world). Sure, don’t play politics with national policy but the current dynamic is facilitating a drift into a catastrophic and very unpredictable war, which, believe me, is even less defensible than the Iraq invasion.

I have attached a message I sent to Max Hastings in response to his article in today’s Guardian, and a letter I sent to President Carter in response to an interview with him published in the Guardian last week. If anyone should find the time to read them you might start to understand why I think your policy is (on analysis) unprincipled, dreadfully misconceived and self-defeating (for all of us).

I will understand that you can’t engage in a debate here and I don’t want to consume your precious time restating your current policy which has been clearly stated. If there is any questions I can answer please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Chris Dornan




From: CAMERON, David []
Sent: 29 October 2007 10:48
Subject: An open letter to David Cameron and William Hague

Dear Mr Dornan,

Thank you for emailing David Cameron – I am replying on his behalf. I do apologise for the delay in my reply.

It is disappointing that the last Security Council Resolution on Iran was agreed in March, seven months ago. We need a step change in the international approach to Iran. If sanctions continue to move at this pace, Iranian leaders will conclude that they can safely ride out international opposition to their nuclear programme.

We believe that UN sanctions are the best way to put pressure on Iran to return to negotiations. We would like to see a new Security Council Resolution containing a ban on new arms sales to Iran, more effective steps against those involved in Iran’s nuclear programme, and action to target the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

However we also believe that the EU, as Iran’s largest trading partner, could do much more. European nations should adopt measures that the US has taken to deny certain Iranian banks access to the US financial system. They should also ban new European export credit guarantees to Iran, and begin targeted action to restrict European investment in Iranian oil and gas fields.

Thank you once again for taking the trouble to write.

Yours sincerely,

David Beal
Correspondence Secretary
David Cameron’s Office
House of Commons