Diary - Middle East erupts again

I had a feeling it was too quiet over New Year which has now taken on a new dimension with the death of Qassem Soleimani, the brutal Iranian general killed in a recent drone strike. Regarded as one of the most powerful men in Iran, his death has caused an outpouring of rage and threats of revenge. Hundreds of thousands of people turned out in Tehran today to mourn him. Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei prayed and wept over Soleimani's coffin. The latter ran a host of proxy forces across the Middle East, all of them committed to mayhem and death. The question now is what happens next? Some form of attack on the West is now expected and the US has sent more forces to the area. There are widespread calls for calm now, while Mr Trump continues to threaten Iran with further action if they do mount any attacks on western targets. Clearly, this is a delicate time with the Middle East once again in a state of turmoil. Without a full briefing on the reason for this killing, it's hard to comment on its integrity. All that I do know is that Soleimani was a brutal man who both lived and died by the sword. We return to the Commons tomorrow, where no doubt this will be top of the agenda. Meanwhile, the rain continues to fall, with water tables near home as high as I've ever seen them. Next year's harvest is bound to be affected, as those working land on clay have not been able to get the seed in the ground.