Thursday, 15 February 2018

Atomic alarmism over Iran

Letter to the Times:
The article by Colonel Richard Kemp ("Failure to Support Israel against Iran could end in war, " Thunderer, 12 February 2018;  was extremely alarmist. With the views he expresses, claiming to be based on "years studying secret intelligence" I am pleased he is a former, not currently serving, head of international terrorism at the Cabinet Office.

He makes the ludicrous assertion that the Iran Nuclear Deal - otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) - has  "paved the way to [Iran becoming] a nuclear-armed state," when he knows it was very carefully crafted by  its collective partners the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, along with the European Union), to achieve precisely the opposite outcome.

Many thoughtful and well-connected security research institutes in Washington DC and beyond, such as The [US]Arms Control Association and Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy at the University of Pennsylvania strongly support this agreement. In an ACA briefing published on Jan 9th, Kelsey Davenport ACA director for nonproliferation policy concludes after detailed analysis:"Without question, the nuclear deal with Iran has effectively removed the existential threat of an Iranian nuclear weapons program and significantly scaled back the country’s nuclear activities."

Meanwhile, Col Kemp assert this diplomatic deal as "flawed," but provided no information on why  he comes to this conclusion. But the British Government, for whom he used to work until 2006, holds a very different opinion of the Iran atomic accord.

For instance, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, a Foreign Office minister, told peers in a written answer on 19 Oct 2017:

"The Foreign Secretary [has]  set out that the JCPoA is the only diplomatic means to neutralise the nuclear threat from Iran and that it is working. This message is being delivered to the US at all levels of Government." ( HL1705)

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson re-affirmed this in Foreign and Commonwealth Questions in the House of Common on  9 January this year (Official Report, column 160), when he said: "the Iran nuclear deal is valid, represents a considerable diplomatic achievement and should be safeguarded." (

Col Kemp should  publicly make clear why he holds diametrically opposite views, or stop dangerously scaremongering

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