A PASSIONATE pacifist staged a one-man protest in the heart of Old Town against escalating the conflict in Iran.

Martin Webb handed out white peace poppies outside MP Robert Buckland’s office in a bid to draw attention to the issue and urge calm heads to prevail.

Right at the start of the year, America assassinated Iranian major general Qasem Soleimani, then a Ukrainian passenger plane was shot down by an Iranian missile a few days later.

Iran later admitted it was done in error after the aircraft was mistaken for a cruise missile

Martin said: “I fear the death and destruction another war could bring to the Middle East and to the world as a whole. We can’t afford to have any more, we’ve done so much damage and caused too much chaos already.

“The people who stopped to chat to me on the street were supportive and took a poppy. They said we’ve learned nothing from either world war and another one is the last thing we need.

“Donald Trump ordering that assassination poured fuel onto the fire. I believe he did this because his ratings were poor, he was being impeached and there’s an election coming up so this was a desperate way of getting people on his side.

“Tensions have eased a bit between the US and Iran but he’s so unpredictable, who knows what will happen in the long-term?”

The 57-year-old from Old Town has been protesting war for the last two decades in solo efforts and group marches.

He added: “It gets disheartening but the more wars there are, the more I get inspired to express my anger and dislike of them by exercising my democratic right to protest.

“I sell white poppies in town every November and more are being sold each year.

"I think the younger generation are more in favour of peace because they have grown up with constant wars in the Middle East.

“We need more pacifist leaders who can think of better ways of resolving conflicts than bombing and shooting people.

“I write letters to my MP Robert Buckland about my concerns and he always replies, though they’re usually not the replies I would like because he has a record of supporting the UK’s wars.”

The Adver approached Mr Buckland’s office for comment but did not get a response before our deadline.