I AM not in the slightest surprised at the SNP government’s reluctance to pursue Alex Salmond’s idea about building strong trade and cultural links with Iran (“Salmond faces scepticism over push to boost links with Iran”, The Herald, May 24).

Iran’s appalling record on human rights and the financing and export of terror is second to none, causing widespread unrest among its oppressed citizens.

Indeed a rising tide of protests inside Iran has triggered a brutal backlash by the clerical authorities. Acknowledging the serious threat posed by recent demonstrations, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei told a meeting of senior security officials two weeks ago further repressive measures throughout the country were now a “high priority”.

While the West continues to applaud the smiling president Hassan Rouhani, the reality is that since he took office in 2013, at least 2,300 men and 66 women have been executed in Iran, many of them hanged in public.

And yet the West is now beating a path to the door of this regime, drooling at the prospect of rich profits to be reaped following the ending of sanctions in the wake of President Obama’s deeply flawed nuclear deal.

Clearly, following his recent visit to Tehran, Mr Salmond is spellbound by Iran. He seems blissfully unaware of the fact the Iranian Revolutionary Guards supply arms, money and military personnel to every Middle East conflict zone.

For once, the SNP government has taken the right decision.

Scotland should think long and hard before it does business with Tehran. Those who put profits before people and human rights will not be quickly forgiven when this criminal regime is overthrown and freedom and democracy are restored in Iran.

Struan Stevenson, Former Conservative MEP, Ballantrae, Ayrshire.