HAVING read the article by Ray Fleming (Looking Around, October 29) relating to Iran/Israel, I wonder whether Mr. Fleming has any real knowledge of the English language, to say nothing of the Arabic. In a world which commonly recognises Iran as a rogue state, where the Europeans (foolishly in my view) have wasted precious time trying, and failing, to prevent an Iranian bomb and where the U.S. has always looked upon Iran as a serious danger, it strikes me as curious that Mr. Fleming casts doubt on what the Iranian president meant in speaking about Israel. The president quotes the words of someone else in his speech. Is that not tantamount to adopting them hemself? Especially is this so when the words appear in the context which Mr. Fleming quotes: Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nations fury. Further, the Iranian president more recently repeats the message saying that is what he meant. It suprises me not that Prime Minister Blair spoke emotionally in his condemnation. Indeed, anyone with a grain of common sense would react in the same way. It seems this does not include Mr. Fleming. Perhaps Mr. Fleming would prefer to send Jack Straw to Iran so that he could bring back a piece of paper saying what Iran's peaceful intentions are. A comparison with 1939 might be appropriate. No Mr. Fleming, you are misguided. The international reaction was right, justified and instant. Mr. Sharon's reaction was, in my view, clear, unambiguous and restrained. This was no knee-jerk reaction. Iran needs to be isolated and if necessary disarmed, leaving the rest of the world a more peaceful planet. If any knee-jerking is involved, it is in my view your correspondent. Perhaps a little more understanding of world events would help him to write his aticles with more clarity of actual events.
S. Cowan, Newcastle-on-Tyne
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