Correction: An earlier version of this letter listed an incorrect headline for Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s July 1 op-ed. The piece was headlined “Time is running out for Iran to choose its future,” rather than Iraq. The following version has been updated.
Regarding Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s July 1 op-ed, “Time is running out for Iran to choose its future”:
In his sensible and timely commentary, Mr. Kerry contended that “all along, these negotiations have been about a choice for Iran’s leaders. . . . Now Iran must choose.” However, it is equally the United States that must face the emerging realities, shift its paradigm and choose to treat Iran as a potential future ally or further alienate it.
As recent events in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East have shown, U.S. national interests in the region can only be served through bilateral, face-to-face diplomacy. Iran and the United States’ common goal should be reaching a grand deal — a tangible, verifiable and sustainable security guarantee to Iran by the United States and its Western allies in return for a complete opening of Iran’s nuclear programs to the International Atomic Energy Agency to assure the West of its peaceful nature. This deal should furnish security guarantees to Iran and, in parallel, garner its full and unconditional support for stabilizing the broader Middle East from Afghanistan to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
It is refreshing to see that Mr. Kerry refrained from using the cliche that “all options are on the table” and is following the advice of the first secretary of state, Thomas Jefferson, who said: “I hope that our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.”
Najmedin Meshkati, Los Angeles
The writer was an advisor to the State Department’s science and technology office from 2009 to 2010.