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A new plan for Iran: Lift sanctions, increase monitoring

Michael O’Hanlon and Bruce Riedel said in their March 25 op-ed [“A middle course on Iran”] that “there are clear downsides to relying on Iranian rationality and trusting that the regime can be deterred” and that a better policy is one of “constriction”: the use of sanctions and “other means.” However, as the recent election in Iran has shown, our continued policy of constriction is empowering the Revolutionary Guard.

Foreign pressure appears to be turning Iran from a theocracy to an even more extreme and volatile military dictatorship. Since the best intelligence from the United States, Europe and Israel indicates that a nuclear-armed Iran is not imminent, a better policy would be to lift the sanctions in exchange for increased monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program.

Yousaf Butt, Cambridge, Mass.

The writer is a scientific consultant to the Federation of American Scientists, a think tank that works on nuclear and other security issues.

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