Pundits are saying that President Obama’s Iran deal stirs deja vu of President Clinton’s 1994 North Korean nuclear deal [“A landmark nuclear pact with Iran,” front page, July 15]. I humbly disagree. President Clinton made his decision based on a strategic foreign policy analysis, top-secret intelligence and a desire to save the people of North Korea from starvation induced by its leadership.
It turned out that the strategic foreign policy analysis was wrong. If Mr. Clinton had known about the major intelligence failure, he would have made a different decision. Mr. Obama made his decision on the Iran nuclear deal aware that the strategic foreign policy analysis, the national intelligence information and intelligence from U.S. allies in the region predict a worse outcome than in North Korea — and Iran will have access to billions of dollars.
This deal will wreak havoc in the Middle East, which is already a disastrous environment. Iran is a major player in the destabilization of the region. Why would Mr. Obama go ahead with such a deal with Iran? It is definitely not because Mr. Obama is not smart enough, because he is. He must believe that what he is doing is right. Still, I am convinced that my good friend Henry Kissinger was correct when he said, “America’s enemies should fear America, but America’s friends should fear America more.”
People in my region now are relying on God’s will and consolidating their local capabilities and analyses with everyone except our oldest and most powerful ally.
Bandar Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
The writer was Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States from 1981 to 2005.
The July 15 editorial “The Iran deal emerges” stated that Iran needs to undergo a behavioral makeover, but it left out a chunk of history at the crux of the distrust between Iran and the United States. This distrust did not begin with Iran’s behavior but rather with U.S. actions.
The United States helped overthrow the democratically elected government of prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953. The United States supported Saddam Hussein during the war against Iran that lasted nearly a decade and killed nearly 1 million soldiers and civilians. It is the height of arrogance to assume that the United States should be the one that is suspicious of Iran’s intentions.
One-sided behavior transformation is not a good starting point for a negotiation. I applaud the courage and statesmanship of President Obama and Secretary of State John F. Kerry for making the world safer for everyone.
Andy Shallal, Washington
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani proclaimed that the nuclear agreement was sealed on the 27th day of the holy month of Ramadan. Ironically, it also was Bastille Day, which may well be the more noteworthy date.
Now, as then, there is much exhilaration in some quarters. This pact is surely a game-changer of historic proportions, but the chances seem high that this monumental gamble will lead to many grim consequences, as did its predecessor 226 years ago.
Theodore L. Einstein, Silver Spring
A story from my early days at the U.S. Agency for International Development:
The year was 1967. Iran was then a major recipient of U.S. development assistance. A colleague had negotiated a large road project with Iran and was invited to attend the signing ceremony in Tehran. Afterward, his counterpart shook hands and told him: “We have a saying in our country: The signing of the contract is the beginning of negotiations.”
Judd L. Kessler, Bethesda