In his March 8 op-ed column, “Romney’s interference on Iran,” Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) wrote that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is wrong to criticize the Obama administration’s Iran policy because it is working. He cites as an indicator of success: “The regime of its most important ally, Syria, is facing collapse.” But the head of the U.S. Central Command says that the regime is actually strengthening thanks to “a full-throated effort by Iran to keep [President Bashar al-] Assad there and oppressing his own people.”
Marine Gen. James Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Tehran is flying “well-schooled experts in oppression” into Damascus to help Mr. Assad do to his population what it has done to the Iranian people. If the phrase “axis of evil” ever had meaning, the Iran-Syria interlocking tyrannies meet the test.
The benefits of simultaneously ending Iran’s nuclear weapons program and the brutal reign of the Assad regime offer a unique strategic opportunity for wise and courageous American policy. But “leading from behind” on either goal inhibits achievement of both.
Mr. Kerry’s litany of administration actions vis-a-vis Iran over the past three years begs questions of their timeliness and efficacy. The bottom line is that Iran moves ever closer to a nuclear weapon, while, with Tehran’s help, Mr. Assad keeps slaughtering the Syrian people.
Joseph A. Bosco, Washington
The writer worked on strategic communications and Muslim outreach in the office of the defense secretary from 2002 to 2004.
In his March 9 column, “Obama and Iran’s bomb,” Charles Krauthammer wrote that Iran threatens “the very existence of a vibrant nation [Israel] and its 6 million Jews.”
He should have noted that Israel has 7.8 million people and that about 20 percent of them are Palestinian Arabs. An Iranian nuclear bomb is dangerous not only for Israeli Jews but also for its Arab citizens.
Andrea Barron, Washington