How to deal with a dan­ger­ous Iran

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “Why Iran won’t co­op­er­ate,” Ed­i­to­rial, June 19

Michael Oren man­ages to pour ev­ery vil­lain­ous coun­try, from North Korea to Nazi Ger­many, into his op­po­si­tion to an in­ter­na­tional agree­ment con­tain­ing Iran’s nu­clear pro­gram. In re­al­ity the is­sue is sim­ply whether, with rea­son­able mon­i­tor­ing, an agree­ment emerges that will ad­e­quately re­strict or pre­vent Iran’s de­vel­op­ment of nu­clear weapons.

The fact that Iran is dom­i­nated by a mil­i­tant re­li­gious or­der and that it sup­ports sub­ver­sive move­ments such as Hezbol­lah is not rel­e­vant. The same was said of the Soviet Union, yet a se­ries of nu­clear agree­ments were ne­go­ti­ated start­ing in 1963.

Iran is not North Korea. The strate­gic en­vi­ron­ment is dif­fer­ent. The Ira­nian econ­omy needs trade and is thus deeply af­fected by sanc­tions. The cur­rent gov­ern­ment, though not free from the con­straints of hard- lin­ers, was elected ( un­like North Korea) on a plat­form of ne­go­ti­a­tion and end­ing the sanc­tions.

Many Is­raeli and Saudi crit­ics may pre­fer a regimechange pol­icy rather than a nu­clear agree­ment. The U. S. can’t let it­self to be hi­jacked into that agenda.

David Perel Los An­ge­les

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