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Letters | SABER-RATTLING - OR NOT - TOWARD IRAN

A hope that diplomatic pressure is not off the table

In this April 8, 2008, photo released by the Iranian President's Office, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, listened to a technician during a visit of the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility some 200 miles south of the capital Tehran, Iran.

AP

In this April 8, 2008, photo released by the Iranian President's Office, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, listened to a technician during a visit of the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility some 200 miles south of the capital Tehran, Iran.

I AGREE with the Feb. 13 op-ed column by James Carroll (“Bad option on the table’’), which questioned the dichotomy between Congress’s applause for thinly veiled aggression toward Iran and the silence for a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear crisis during President Obama’s State of the Union address. Carroll is correct in asserting that Iran will feel further compelled by such a dichotomy, and Iran does not need any additional compulsion given current destabilizing factors, including the Arab Spring.

It is easy to look at international relations exclusively through the lens of our interests, but Moammar Khadafy’s fall after having renounced his nuclear weapons program must contribute to Iran’s refusal to back down in the same manner.

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I hope that if we have learned nothing else from our recent forays in the Middle East, we have learned the limited ability of war to induce a policy change in another country.

I am pro-Israel, but that does not require that I am also pro-war with Iran. While we can all agree that Iran’s nuclear disarmament is in the best interests of the United States and Israel, I would hope that taking “no options off the table’’ includes diplomatic pressure as well as more bellicose means.

Martin Samuels

Somerville
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