What Abraham Sofaer's July 10 op-ed column {"No Quick Fix in Iran"} failed to tell us is why, after a decade or more of state-sponsored acts of terrorism by Iran against the United States, our government continues to seek new deals for a rapprochement with Iran when every signal points to the fact that Iran doesn't want to forge a new relationship. We say it isn't so and continue to deny that our goodwill begets nothing but denial and ill will.

Mr. Sofaer, legal adviser to the secretary of state from June of 1985 until last month, acknowledges that Iran had responsibility in the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie on Dec. 21, 1988. Yet for the past year and a half our government has refused to point the finger of blame. The madmen who murdered our precious children and all our loved ones, including my stepdaughter Miriam Wolfe, go free and unpunished. And with this has been a denial from our nation's leaders of Iran's involvement. The denial has been communicated to the families on more than one occasion by President Bush. On one occasion, in response to a letter on why our goverment was releasing the assets of Iran that had been frozen by the United States, President Bush told us that Iran must be brought into the community of nations. In the process, Iran kicks and screams all the way, and it continues to slap the face of its benevolent benefactor. In the process, we refuse to deal with Iran's involvement in the Pan Am 103 bombing.

And in the process, the morality of returning assets and making deals is sacrificed to the "greater good." We continue to ask where these policies will lead us. When swords don't turn into plowshares, do you stop the sword by burying it? Or by removing the blade? I continue to ask: When will the murderers of our loved ones be punished? Can Iran's involvement in the bombing of Pan Am 103 be acknowledged by U.S. officials only once they have resigned?