Dear A.M. Costa Rica:
I must take exception to your editorial regarding the deal with Iran. Simply parroting neo-conservative talking points does not address the serious issues at the core of this matter. These negotiations and the international sanctions which compelled them were not about regime change. Rather, this is about containing Iran’s existing nuclear weapons program. That Iran is a bad actor is widely accepted. Nonetheless, we must ask what alternative exists on the nuclear issue short of more military involvement in the Middle East.
Keep in mind that the U.S. is not acting alone on either the sanctions or the deal. There are five other major world powers (economic and military) who are parties to this deal. To keep the sanctions in place if we decide to go it alone would be impossible. More likely than not, military action by Israel, Sunni Arab states, and/or the United States would be the only remaining option to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons development. Is that palatable now when a peaceful path remains available?
Nixon opened the door to China, and Reagan made a weapons treaty with the evil empire, the Soviet Union, based not upon trust alone, but upon inspection and verification. Both were condemned as dangerous by the neo-conservative hard liners at the time. Look where those agreements led.
There will be extensive debate on the pros and cons of this deal in the next two months. This should be based on the facts of the agreement as written, not a bunch of scare tactics from the people who brought us the Iraq war (incidentally, based upon unfounded fears of weapons of mass destruction).
At present, 71 percent of Americans support a negotiated settlement to this confrontation. Those who desire regime change are more likely to be rewarded by an open and prosperous Iranian economy, than by an attempt to starve the population and lob bunker busting bombs at entrenched military facilities. We tried regime change tactics in Iran when the CIA toppled the elected government and installed the Shah in the 70s. Look what that got us. No wonder they don’t trust us either.
Lost trust, on both sides, must be rebuilt by experience and time. Do we have the courage to give peace a chance?
and Angel Fire, New Mexico