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President Reagan's Secret Dealing With Iran

November 23, 1986

As usual, President Reagan is getting his share of criticism for his conduct of "business" with Iran. The armchair generals, the Sunday School quarterbacks, and the wise guys in the media are loaded with critical remarks.

But it seems that these same observers don't have good "elephant" memories. They are the ones who helped to terminate the reasonable Westernized regime of the Shah of Iran who was then replaced by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini regime.

The President seems to have reasonable objectives for his efforts:

1--Re-establish some kind of relations with a potential new moderate government that may emerge following the departure of the aging Khomeini.

2--Attempt to prevent Soviet penetration and subjugation of Iran and the entire region of the Middle East.

3--Help terminate the seven-year war between Iran and Iraq.

4--Try to assist all efforts to free the hostages being held by terrorists in Lebanon.

So what is so terrible about these objectives? What would the wise observers recommend the President do to achieve the above objectives? Nothing! No, they don't seem to have a plan or even a suggestion. But I must admit they are very clever and persistent in throwing rocks and verbal barbs at the President.

WILLIAM M. CLINES

Los Angeles

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