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    Letters

    Our Iran entanglements

    Kinzer seems to want the world to surrender to the ayatollahs

    Re “US can’t shake its fantasies about Iran” (Ideas, Jan. 7): I had thought the motivation for the elites not supporting the demonstrations in Iran was merely appeasement and moral cowardice. Stephen Kinzer provides a fresh insight. Kinzer wants the world to surrender to the ayatollahs, to welcome their autocratic regime as once Khomeini was welcomed back from France.

    Kinzer warns that regime change is not to be expected, nor to be wished for. Should the demonstrators somehow succeed, Kinzer sees only ISIS-like chaos. He sees the demonstrations as being the result of grievances, technically valid, but not a fundamental cry by the Iranian people for democracy, for life minus the Iranian autocracy, minus the religious police. Kinzer states that US leaders who express support for the demonstrators are only rabble-rousers, rabid Iran haters, and, in reality, unconcerned with the Iranian people’s calls for democracy, religious tolerance, and economic stability. (He does not mention the banners “Death to the dictators” displayed by the demonstrators.)

    Kinzer further makes the point that should the world lose this particular regime, it would be a great disservice to worldwide peace, as the (evil) United States would lose a serious check to its maniacal plots of world domination, particularly in the Persian Gulf. He warns the United States not to provide aid to the demonstrators, which would only prop up the ayatollahs’ lie that the demonstrations are the result of foreign intervention.

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    He tells us “it is time to let go.” Of what? Democracy?

    Bruce Parks

    Byfield

    Meddling in Middle Eastern countries ends badly

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    Kudos to Stephen Kinzer for his insightful opinion piece “US can’t shake its fantasies about Iran.” We were in Iran recently, and it bore little resemblance to the US public’s perception of the country. The cities are clean, roads are well maintained, and the citizens of the major cities appear to be prosperous. There is little question that the Iranian citizenry would prefer to remove the sclerotic clerical government and its Revolutionary Guard thugs, but mainly they want to live normal private lives.

    We should have learned by now that meddling in the internal affairs of Middle Eastern countries just results in the killing of unfortunate people. Iran will be an important force in the area, as it has been for 2,000 years. We might as well accommodate to that reality.

    Tony Pell

    Boston