Today Melanie will be mostly warmongering
And anyway, what have we been doing maintaining diplomatic ties with Iran in the first place? Why on earth did we not cut them years ago?
Diplomatic ties with Iran exist at the lowest official level. They have been cut and then restored several times since the Islamic revolution. Britain has been part of a club called the Four Plus Two which has tried to maintain a dialogue with Iran over such issues as its nuclear programme. Phillips is wrong to paint the regime as monolithic: powerful elements, notably around the former presidents Rafsanjani and Khatami, are eager to end the country's isolation, and they have widespread popular backing.
After all, Iran declared war upon the west in 1979 when the Islamic regime came to power.
No it didn't. Iran has never declared war on another nation (the Iran-Iraq war was started by Saddam Hussein). Its foreign policy has often been belligerent, but never against the whole of "the west". For instance, in the 1990s it invited French, Italian and Russian oil companies to help develop its oilfields. In 1998, the EU brokered an agreement between Iran and the Taleban, which averted an armed conflict.
Since then, there has been virtually no serious terrorist attack against the west which hasn’t had Iran’s fingerprints on it (as I have written before, I have long suspected its involvement in 9/11 too).
Remarkable: Phillips is quoting nobody but herself as proof of her fantastical opinion. What constitutes a terrorist attack "against the west" anyway? It's self-evident that an attack against "the west" will have come from "the east". It's a totally useless category — and the point she uses it to make is not even true. The 7/7 bombings were carried out by Brits. The Madrid bombing had bugger all to do with Iran. Neither did the US embassy bombings, or the Beslan school hostage crisis. Et cetera.
Britain itself suffered the Iranian embassy siege of 1980 and Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa against the life of Salman Rushdie, which drove that writer into hiding for years.Yet successive British governments, along with the US and the Europeans, have behaved throughout as if merely a few rogue actors were responsible for all these attacks, and relations with Iran sailed on pretty well without any serious or permanent interruption.
Well, how permanent is permanent? The Rushdie fatwah was issued in 1989 by Ayatollah Khomeini; Britain withdrew its ambassador the same year. That situation lasted for ten years. It wasn't until 1999 that Britain once again sent an ambassador to Tehran; by that time, Iran had a new supreme leader and a new president, and had withdrawn the fatwah against Rushdie.
I'm not saying Iran is a nice country, and its leaders certainly make daily pronouncements that are aggressively anti-semitic. But some right-wing pro-Israeli commentators want to see Iran's hand behind every group that opposes or resists the government of Israel.