Can’t trust Iran

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Jo Schlesinger’s letter “We Must Not Undermine Peace Efforts With Iran” (Jan. 14) rests on two inaccurate premises: First, that the “Joint Plan of Action” Geneva interim agreement represents a step toward peace and, second, that Iran is acting in good faith.

I support diplomacy, but the JPA actually makes an eventual Iranian bomb more likely, not less. The interim agreement lets Iran keep its 19,000 centrifuges and continue developing ballistic missiles and constructing its Arak heavy-water reactor for producing plutonium. Moreover, it concedes that under a final deal, Iran’s right to enrichment will be recognized and that any restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will be for only a finite period of time.

The agreement expressly states: “The final step of a comprehensive solution … would involve a mutually defined enrichment programme … with agreed limits on scope and level of enrichment activities … for a period to be agreed upon.” That’s why there’s strong bipartisan support for the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013, which will impose further sanctions and defines the terms of a final agreement.

As for undermining good faith, just days before the JPA was announced, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called Israel a “rabid dog,” declared that Israeli officials “cannot be even called humans; they are like animals” and vowed that the “Zionist regime … is doomed to extinction.” 

And just last week, Iranian lawmaker Mohammed Nabavian declared that “having a nuclear bomb is necessary to put down Israel.”

STEPHEN A. SILVER
San Francisco, Calif.


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