I NOTE yet another article from Struan Stevenson in which he spews his usual bile about Iran ("President Biden must take a tough stance to deal with Iran", The Herald, November 28). What is it with Mr Stevenson and Iran? Was he dumped years ago by an Iranian girlfriend? Iran is a fabulous country, with a fascinating history, a rich and varied culture, and warm, friendly people.

Mr Stevenson refers to a court case that has just started in Belgium, involving an Iranian diplomat. He alleges that almost all Iran’s leaders were involved in a plot to carry out a terrorist attack in Europe and “all of this will be exposed in the Belgian court”. Why bother with a trial when we have Mr Stevenson’s clear statement of "facts"?

As for terrorist incidents, Mr Stevenson never seems to mention the shooting down in 1988 of Iran Air 655, en route from Tehran to Dubai. The terrorist in that case was the captain of the USS Vincennes, an American cruiser; 290 people died, and there’s a theory that Lockerbie was Iran’s revenge.

The Iranian leadership is authoritarian and theocratic; just like our best friend in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia. We can either refuse to engage with Iran and try to break them, or we can work with them as best we can and hope that, over time, the country will change. The first way, isolating Iran, will only help the current regime to maintain its iron grip on power. That isn’t in our interests and it would be disastrous for the people of Iran.

Doug Maughan, Dunblane.


TO suggest that a student who has studied a brass, woodwind, or indeed any other musical instrument for a number of years in preparation for a musical qualification should simply choose another (closely related of course) is utter drivel ("SQA ridiculed for suggesting music students switch instruments for exams", The Herald, November 28). The SQA spokesperson who had the audacity to make this suggestion would do well to reflect on a theme from the Season of Advent, silence.

Rhona Gourley, Millport.


COUNCILLOR Audrey Doig (Letters, November 30) wants Britain to be powered by batteries when there's no sun and insufficient wind. The world's biggest battery facility is Gateway in California, which can provide 250 MWh (megawatt hours) of energy if it's fully charged at the time it's needed. This sounds a lot until you see that the UK's total final energy consumption is 1,741,000,000 MWh annually. So Gateway could power us for 4.5 seconds.

Geoff Moore, Alness.


YOUR On This Day feature (November 28) states: “1919: Viscountess (Nancy) Astor became Britain’s first woman MP, holding a safe Plymouth seat for the Tories.” This is incorrect. The first woman MP, elected in the General Election of 1918, was Constance Markievicz who, as an Irish Nationalist, declined to take her seat. More than a year later Nancy Astor was elected and was, of course, the first woman to take a seat in Parliament and to be sworn in.

Tom Clarke, Coatbridge.


HALF Man Half Biscuit had a song several years ago containing the line "It's a cricketing farce with a thickening plot – Act 1: Scene 1, Brenda Blethyn gets shot!" Having accidentally stumbled upon Ms Blethyn's series Vera, I can understand why.

Why are British thespians in competition with Alan Carr to invent the most irritating faux TV voice to the extent some shows now constitute cruel and unusual punishment?

Mark Boyle, Johnstone.