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The U.S. and Iran

March 09, 2007

Re "Keeping Iran in line," Opinion, March 7

Max Boot incorrectly states that "the trouble" with Iran began with the U.S. hostage crisis in 1979. In fact, the trouble began in 1953, when the CIA overthrew the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and installed the tyrannical dictator Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.

Boot tries to demonstrate that President Bush has no plans to attack Iran but proves just the opposite. If we've learned anything from the run-up to the Iraq war, it's that we can't trust Bush's unfounded claims that Iran poses any threat to us.

MARJORIE COHN

San Diego

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Boot suggests that the Bush administration would be justified in striking Iran, but, saints that they are, will push diplomacy instead. That is precisely backward. Iranian influence in Iraq is more firmly grounded in realpolitik than the ill-fated U.S. venture, which has also removed the teeth and moral credibility of our military option in Iran. Nuclear nonproliferation is our most legitimate interest with Iran, but we lack a unified coalition to diplomatically dislodge the Iranians from such a central, strategic goal.

So, was raising tensions and rattling a saber at Iran a transparent bluff or just political cover for the administration's policy flip-flop to engagement?

CHRIS HARGET

Campbell, Calif.

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To reactionaries such as Boot, the United States is the world's No. 1 victim. Take the Middle East, for instance. To Boot, we are not responsible for the overthrow of a democratically elected prime minister in Iran in 1953. We are not responsible for training the shah's secret police to suppress dissidents. We are not responsible for aiding the shah in siphoning off billions of dollars in oil revenues to create an Iranian puppet state.

And, of course, our troops have every right to patrol the Iranian border unmolested and possibly cross over on some contrived pretext. And one more item: Exactly how did we get within mortar range of Iran, anyway?

STEVE LOICANO

Santa Maria

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