Once again the threat of war with Iran has moved centre-stage. The political hawks on both sides of the Atlantic are claiming that the development of nuclear technology by Iran poses an existential threat to Israel and is a threat to world peace - based on the assumption that its nuclear technology will be used to develop nuclear weapons.
Let's be clear about two things. First, nuclear weapons are immoral, unnecessary and are by their very nature a threat to civilian populations.
But second, Iran does not actually possess any nuclear weapons - and within international law has developed nuclear reactors and nuclear power.
However much any of us may dislike and disagree with nuclear power, Iran is entitled to go down this road if it chooses to do so.
But it's also worth bearing in mind that Israel is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), or indeed to any other treaties that are designed to reduce the nuclear threat to the world.
Israel does possess nuclear weapons and has a delivery system to fire them.
Far from being under sanctions, it is in receipt of massive aid of both a military and civilian nature from the United States. It's also a major trading partner of the European Union.
By contrast Iran is a member of the NPT and apparently has every intention of remaining so. It signed the declaration at the last review conference to work for a nuclear-free Middle East.
Progress towards such a goal is difficult, but the prospects of a major conference in Helsinki in December at the invitation of the Finnish government will include all parties in the Middle East, including Israel and Iran.
Surely this is the right way forward. Indeed, the international network Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), which brings together hundreds of MPs from over 80 countries worldwide, has worked very strongly towards this concept and fully welcomes the steps being taken.
It is a frequent claim by Western governments, including our own, that Iran has failed to comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conditions for inspection and that it has routinely refused independent observations of its nuclear facilities.
Iran has not signed the NPT's voluntary supplementary protocol which would allow unannounced visits to take place, but it has been forced to accept it by the terms of the UN security council resolution in respect of Iran. There are other countries which haven't signed the supplementary protocol, including Brazil.
The threats against Iran by the US and the European Union have resulted in punishing economic sanctions on the country and an enormous US and British naval presence in the Straits of Hormuz, relying on facilities provided them by the friendly monarchy in Bahrain.
This might explain the reluctance of the West to do anything about Bahrain's appalling human rights record.
Nobody on the left or in the peace movement is unaware of the human rights problems in Iran - the death penalty, the treatment of minorities and indeed of trades unionists.
However, there is a strong and forceful internal political process in Iran which has resulted in reformist governments in the past and in fact brought about the overthrow of the Shah and his Western-backed authoritarian government in 1979.
It's also within the living memory of older Iranians that the nationalist and left-leaning Mossadeq government was removed in 1953 by a British-inspired coup to boost the profits of BP and other oil companies.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud administration constantly claim to be under threat from Iran and are always misquoting remarks made by President Ahmadinejad about the future of Israel.
Israel seems to be threatening to bomb Iran despite a US strategy - for the moment - of diplomatic and political engagement rather than military action.
With other MPs of the parliamentary all-party group on Iran I visited the IAEA to hear at first hand from its inspectors both the difficulties and the successes that they have had in engaging with Iran's nuclear authorities.
They did concede that they had had problems with some of the access arrangements to nuclear facilities, but they also confirmed that there was no evidence of the existence of weapons-grade uranium in Iran.
After the visit and following a lengthy meeting with the Iranian ambassador I had this awful feeling of deja vu back to 2002, when Blair and Bush almost single-handedly elevated Iraq from being a functioning, albeit authoritarian, state to one of existential enemy status for the West.
War duly followed. The consequences are there for all to see.
While the Istanbul talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN security council plus Germany made very good progress and are due to meet again there is still a danger of either a military incident in the Straits of Hormuz or of Israel mounting its own attack.
We need to mobilise for peace, for dialogue and for recognition that any war would have catastrophic consequences for the people of Iran and for the peace of the whole region. The effect on the rather fragile - to say the least - economic state of western Europe is also part of the picture.
The Stop the War Coalition has organised a demonstration at the US embassy in Grosvenor Square for May 19.
Significant numbers at the demo will indicate that ordinary people in Britain are not prepared to go along with this sabre-rattling, which can only lead to catastrophe.
Every afternoon at 6pm a group of people assemble in Whitehall opposite the gates of Downing Street holding placards of photos of people on hunger strike in Israeli jails.
These people include civilians and elected members of the Palestinian National Authority who make up a significant proportion of the 7,000 Palestinians held in Israel's prisons.
Readers could be forgiven for not knowing this as most of the media apart from the Morning Star has completely ignored the news that 2,000 Palestinian prisoners of Israel are now in their second week of hunger strike.
The occupation of the West Bank, the checkpoints, the walls and the theft of land and water are punishment enough for ordinary Palestinians.
The blockade of Gaza and the routine bombing of alleged Hamas positions on the strip continue with a steadily mounting loss of civilian life.
Israeli fighter-jets don't distinguish between military people and families in their homes.
This hunger strike is yet another cry for justice from the Palestinian people and - disgracefully - the rest of the world seems to be silent on the subject as US weapons and European trade continue to flow in and boost Israel's economy.
There are voices for peace in Israel, and there are those who see the only way forward as recognition and co-operation with all neighbouring states and to end the oppression of the Palestinian people.
We must work with these forces.
But first of all, we must join the Whitehall protests to show that we can hear Palestine's cry for help. They continue through to and including this Saturday.