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Why give pulpit to Iran president?

September 25, 2008

Re "Iran's leader derides Bush's 'logic of force' " and "A talk with Ahmadinejad," Sept. 23

I wonder at and am disappointed at The Times' and the U.N.'s willingness to give Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a platform to spew his hatred without comments, corrections or challenges.

No world leader curses another nation and calls for its destruction as he does, and over and over. His vitriolic attacks should make him a pariah in a civilized world.

After World War II, many countries fought for and declared independence, among them India, Pakistan, Jordan, Ceylon, Burma, many African states and also Israel. Like these other countries, Israel deserves to live without the verbal harassment and hate talk of an out-of-order world leader. At the same time, Israelis and Palestinians of goodwill must work to make peace.

The irony of this former Iranian Revolutionary Guard freely expressing his hatred here is that the religious police state which is Iran, where the mullahs choose the candidates who can run for office, would never permit any Western leader to express himself so freely to the Iranian public. Not to mention use the threats and hate speech that he does.

Ahmadinejad, patron of terror, aspiring producer of nuclear weapons, trainer of and arms supplier to terrorists, is a plague to the world. If you give him a forum, then you are obliged to comment on his hate speech and nonstop attacks on Israel.

His term expires in 2009. Let us hope that his countrymen do not return this miscreant to office so that he rants only to himself.

Andrea Scharf

Los Angeles

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