I AM surprised that you have given such prominence to an article by Struan Stevenson without stating, as you have done previously, that he is a lobbyist for an strongly anti-Iran agenda (“The nation whose rulers have lied and lied about coronavirus”, The Herald, March 21).

Mr Stevenson, as one may read from articles on his own website, is anti-Obama, pro-Trump, pro-John Bolton and pro-Israel, among other positions, and is a prolific commentator in furthering a strongly Neo-con position. The language in his article is particularly unpleasant as it uses the current virus pandemic to justify his hatred of Iran, giving pejorative opinions which are not capable of being verified. Outside of any comments about the virus the article is just a re-hash of his usual wide-ranging condemnation of every aspect of the Iranian state.

There is one inescapable fact regarding Iran’s ability to deal with Covid-19: it has been the target of such sanctions by the United States that its ability to respond to the pandemic is severely curtailed. As a consequence Iranian people could well be the biggest casualty of Covid-19; and, if so, we in the West will be equally culpable in letting it happen.

Now is not the time to press home hatreds or political and financial advantages. If any time is right, now is the time to reach out to Iran and end the sanctions; to help them source the medical materials to fight the virus. When this is all over the West can re-evaluate its relationship with Iran; it may find that the olive branch has been more effective than the sword.

For the record I have no personal regard for or against Iran, its government or its people; but, with a knowledge of its history with, particularly, Britain and America, I can see how the consequences of Western foreign policy have resulted in the position today.

Paul Scott,

Edinburgh EH3.

Royals on notice

IN July 1665 when the plague was rampant in the city of London, King Charles II and his friends at court abandoned the city and its people to escape to Oxford.

In March 2020, Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, ignores all Scottish and UK governments’ advice and leaves London, along with a considerable entourage, to journey to his holiday home on Royal Deeside. The royal protection squad will be billeted in Ballater, putting considerable strain on the village which has been already invaded by other irresponsible holiday home owners.

More than 350 years apart but the arrogance and selfishness of members of the Royal Family never fails to annoy or surprise. One thing is clear, post- viral Britain must not tolerate this type of glaring inequality or the antiquated societal status quo that enables it.

Owen Kelly, Stirling.

Save Knapdale Ward

YES, Covid-19 is the defining matter of our time, but please do not overlook vulnerable people with dementia and their carers.

Argyll and Bute HSCP/NHS Highland continues to ignore community dissent and professional opinion, and seem determined to close Knapdale Ward, Lochgilphead, proceeding without due regard for fair process. The crucial meeting is March 25.

Dr Jan Calder, Helensburgh, former locum consultant psychiatrist for Knapdale Ward; Belinda Braithwaite, Lochgilphead, wife of former patient; Duncan Ferguson, Alexandria, brother of current patient; Douglas Philand, Lochgilphead, Independent councillor, Argyll and Bute; Anne Horne, Tarbert, SNP councillor, Argyll and Bute; Patrick Harvey, Lochgilphead resident; Dr Robert Sandler, retired consultant psychiatrist.