letters | a close look at sanctions

US is not to blame for crisis with Iran

In an apparent effort to paint the United States as culpable for the current crisis with Iran, Farah Stockman (“Tehran calculations,” Op-ed, Aug. 6) presents a deeply flawed picture. She bemoans the impacts of sanctions on Iranians, but says nothing about the Iranian government’s brutal repression of its own citizens, including severe human rights abuses of gays and ethnic and religious minorities.

Stockman is silent about the denial of free speech and a judicial system that often abandons any pretense of due process. She also makes no mention of the material and ideological support Iran provides globally to radical Islamic terrorists, the aggressive promotion of Holocaust denial, and ongoing genocidal screeds regarding Israel.

Instead, she turns truth on its head, contending that sanctions are causing the stalemate in nuclear arms negotiations. In fact, those who advocate for strong sanctions hope to preempt military conflict by persuading Iran to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weaponry.


Stockman’s compassion for the Iranian people is no justification for blaming the United States for the excesses of a dangerous regime that has given every indication of its readiness to sow mayhem and undermine basic human rights in Iran and around the world.

Jim Kaufman


The writer is former president of the Boston regional office of the American Jewish Committee.