Time for West to get tough with Tehran mullahs

The Scotsman, May 13, by Lord Frazer — Engagement, sometimes described as "appeasement", was of course doomed to failure, for it rested on two fundamental misconceptions: First, that Iran’s regime is capable of and willing, to moderate. Second, that Iran’s regime could be persuaded to abandon its nuclear program. This wrong headed approach has now plunged the world into the current international crisis.

I was an early enthusiast of dialogue and engagement with Tehran, but have long repented. Engagement has failed miserably and brought us to the brink of a potentially devastating war.

However, war is not the answer and nor is a continuation of the status quo. Instead, the solution to the mullahs’ threat to world peace and stability rests firmly in the hands of the Iranian people and their main opposition.

The time for negotiating with Tehran is over. The West must immediately adopt a robust policy towards the mullahs by applying comprehensive sanctions, including oil, arm and technological embargoes, as well as the freezing of assets abroad and placing of travel restrictions on Iranian officials.

This will be the first step in sending the right message to the long-suffering Iranians that we are on their side and not on the side of their oppressors.

The second step is to remove the unjust terror label from the PMOI, thereby removing the greatest obstacle to democratic change in Iran.

• The Rt Hon The Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, QC, is a former solicitor general and lord advocate for Scotland