John Baron MP has got it very wrong on Iran. Writing on ConservativeHome this morning, the Honourable Member for Basildon and Billericay not only questioned whether the Iranian regime is in fact developing a nuclear weapon as determinedly as everyone believes, but also defended its reasons for doing so.
Extraordinary. And yet not.
I vividly recall debating the Libya conflict with John on Sir David Frost back in June, and much the same logic that informed his opposition to Britain’s intervention in that conflict guides his thinking on Iran now.
In short, and for whatever reason, he is willing to give violent dictatorships the benefit of the doubt.
One of John’s principle reasons for opposing our intervention in Libya was that we “could not be sure” that Colonel Gaddafi would have perpetrated a massacre in Benghazi. Given that this was the man who had recently pledged to “cleanse” his country “house by house”, and then demonstrated every intention of doing so, this was a risky assumption for John to make. Foreign mercenaries had been flown in; tanks were being used to crush protesters alive; and in one incident mourners at a funeral were machine-gunned to death.