You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Letters

Letters | OUR OPTIONS ON IRAN

US must carry a big stick and show it will use it

TWO FORMER US diplomats, William H. Luers And Thomas R. Pickering, call for “ending the game of chicken’’ with Iran through innovative diplomatic means (Op-ed, March 10). But, as President Obama clearly understands, a so-called big stick supported by evident willingness to use it is critically required.

The regime in Iran has certainly noticed the immense clout that possession of nukes is providing the otherwise weak-sister nation of North Korea. So, for Iran, major sacrifices in the near term would be handsomely repaid by eventual possession of nuclear weapons.

Continue reading below

At this point, two measures could make sense for the United States and our allies. First, avoid any overt threats of warfare and attack. Instead, refer to possible intervention as “police action’’ and “enforcement’’ only. The goal of any intervention would be the confiscation or destruction of centrifuges, and nothing more. War, if it should come, would be triggered by any Iranian attempts to disrespect the international police action.

Second, we and our allies should begin shipping tanks to depots in Iraq located near the Iran frontier. This would provide a credible and highly visible big stick that is so critically needed.

John Fountain

Needham

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week