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Obama can’t miss this chance to engage new Iranian leader

RE “ROWHANI’S Iran,” (Op-ed, June 21): Isn’t it curious that the word most used to describe the presidential election just held in Iran is “surprise”? The surprise is that all these so-called experts in the media, think tanks, and Congress, were surprised.

The problem is they do not know what they do not know. The experts, and even some in the US administration, for months tried to create doubts about the legitimacy of the election. The Iranian people, by turning out in large numbers to vote, proved them wrong. This shows an astounding lack of knowledge about what goes on in Iran because of the lack of relations.

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President Obama, much to his credit, has tried to open a dialogue, but he has been blocked by intransigence from Iran and in the US by the neoconservatives and the Israel-can-do-no-wrong crowd in the media, think tanks, and Congress.

Like President Nixon, who overcame a powerful pro-Taiwan lobby to create an opening to China, the president must redouble his efforts to overcome the same type of obstruction. This important moment must not be squandered by both sides, like others before it.

Fariborz S. Fatemi

McLean, Va.

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