Today, the Commons will debate this motion brought forward by John Baron MP:
That this House believes that the use of force against Iran would be wholly counter-productive and would serve only to encourage any development of nuclear weapons; and calls upon the Government to rule out the use of force against Iran and reduce tensions by redoubling diplomatic efforts.
It is being met by the following proposed amendment:
Line 1, leave out from ‘House’ to end and add ‘supports the Government’s efforts to reach a peaceful, negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue through a combination of pressure in the form of robust sanctions, and engagement led by the E3+3 comprising the UK, US, France, Germany, China and Russia; and recognises the value of making clear to Iran that all options for addressing the issue remain on the table.’.
Seeing that only John Baron has signed the motion and that the amendment has been signed by 22 colleagues from across the House, I do not doubt the outcome: the passage of the amended motion. I shall vote with Mr Baron.
I do not wish Iran to have a nuclear weapon. I do not doubt that Iran’s government is awful and that the world would be the worse for them possessing the bomb. However, I feel sure that the nuclear-armed socialist despotisms of the twentieth century were abhorrent and yet we believed the mutual possession of nuclear weapons preserved the peace. I feel sure that any nation continually threatened with force by nuclear-armed nations is bound to wish to obtain a nuclear bomb. I am sure the vast majority of the people of Iran simply wish to get on with their lives like everyone else.
I believe war and threats of war have run their course. I have long said where I stand on this issue.
As I have pointed out, the Kellogg-Briand pact of 1929 renounced war for the settlement of international disputes and it remains in force. That Pact may well have failed to prevent the Second World War, and indeed other wars, but it should mean that aggressive war is never “on the table” for the settlement of international disputes.
Should Iran attack, then perhaps we should assist in providing defence. Until then, peace is the path to peace.
Update: I have also been reminded of Article 2, paragraph 4 of the UN Charter:
All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.