Regarding Dennis Ross and David Makovsky’s May 28 op-ed, “Call an end to Iran’s stalling”:
The writers failed to mention that Iran, by seeking an independent civilian nuclear fuel program similar to that of many other nations, has not breached its international obligations. It is ironic that the United States pretends to uphold international law and yet has shown callous disregard for Iran’s rights under the articles of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Various International Atomic Energy Agency reports have confirmed the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran. Mr. Ross and Mr. Makovsky also did not make note of the content of the April negotiations in Almaty, Kazakhstan, between Iran and the “P5+1” group. In this negotiation, Iran explained its constructive suggestions and is still waiting for the answer of the P5+1 group to its proposals. The ball is in the other side’s court.
Iran’s program is peaceful, legal and fully monitored by IAEA inspectors and surveillance cameras. As a result, the coercive sanctions on Iran lack legitimacy and are questioned by a majority of U.N. member states, including 120 Non-Aligned Movement member states. Any military threat against Iran is illegal and a violation of the United Nations Charter and undermines global peace and security. Iran is fully prepared to respond to any external threats. At the same time, Iran is prepared to continue good-faith negotiations, which need to be reciprocated by other powers.
Alireza Miryousefi, New York
The writer is head of the press office for the Iranian mission to the United Nations.
Dennis Ross and David Makovsky rightly admitted that sanctions have failed to alter Iran’s nuclear program, advocated “coercive diplomacy” and that the United States “give Iran a clear diplomatic way out.” However, they seem to forget the necessary condition for such diplomatic process to succeed, as Mr. Makovsky correctly pointed out in his March 4, 2010, testimony, before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks: “It is impossible for any party or any country to make the most vital decisions possible without the confidence of dealing directly with the other side.”
U.S. interests can be served only through bilateral, face-to-face, consequential diplomacy and direct negotiation with the government of Iran. The two countries’ common goal should be a grand deal — a tangible, verifiable and sustainable security guarantee to Iran by the United States and its Western allies in return for the compartmentalization or curtailment of Iran’s nuclear programs, its full and unconditional support of the U.S.-backed government in Iraq and its cooperation elsewhere in the Middle East.
Najm Meshkati, Los Angeles
Iran’s future nuclear strike force is hardly any threat to the United States. It is a threat in only one way to Israel: Israel will no longer have a completely free hand to do anything it wants in the Middle East. This restraint should be welcomed by all Americans.
President Obama’s obvious desire to avoid war is the correct position. Haven’t the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan shown us anything? Throwing down the gauntlet to Iran will just be one more step to perpetual war with Muslim countries. This will not make us, the United States or Israel any safer.
Steve Baldwin, Springfield