AS if to emphasise the need for the United Kingdom to remain part of the European Union while playing a constructive role, two significant events have taken place.
Firstly, the threat to British and Iranian staff employed at our Embassy in Tehran being put on retrial for alleged anti-government protests will clearly heighten tensions.
It should be borne in mind that on July 3, 2009 it was the European Union that summoned all Iranian Ambassadors to its 27 member states to receive formal protests over the threat to try the employees.
Secondly, there are other developments such as the proposed oil pipeline that could create £10 billion when it is hoped it will ship gas and oil across the Sahara desert to Europe - according to the Nigerian national oil company via Algeria, Nigeria and Niger Republic.
The plan comes at a time when Russia is attempting to apply pressure on price and availability and it would be prudent for the European Union to secure alternative supplies as well.
Graham Rea, Queens Road, Yardley