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Letters: Waiting on Iran

February 16, 2013
  • An Iranian security officers beckons to journalists at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in August 2010.
An Iranian security officers beckons to journalists at the Bushehr nuclear… (Vahid Salemi / Associated…)

Re "On Iran, there's time," Opinion, Feb. 14

Ray Takeyh counsels the United States and its allies to apply patience as nuclear talks with Iran resume later this month. He contends that "time works best for the United States," while a "take it or leave it" approach will not. Unfortunately, patient negotiation has been tested time and again — not by the U.S. and its allies but by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

For more than a decade the respected nuclear watchdog has attempted to get Tehran to divulge all of its nuclear activities. The agency's most recent evaluation captures the frustration: "As Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation … the agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities."

The international community has seen the failure of patient diplomacy before in endless talks with North Korea. Only a few days ago the world was reminded of the outcome, with North Korea's third nuclear weapons test. Can Iran be far behind?

Contrary to Takeyh, patience and time may be on a nuclearizing Iran's side, not ours.

Bennett Ramberg

Los Angeles

The writer served as a policy analyst in the State Department's Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs in the George H.W. Bush administration.

Israel has turned the world's attention to Iran's nuclear program even though our intelligence agencies say Iran's efforts are much further behind than the alarmists claim.

It is no secret that Israel has many nuclear weapons, yet it refuses to acknowledge this fact, and it recently refused to participate in a regional conference on a nuclear-free Middle East. We must awaken to the reality that the U.S. is sponsoring an ally whose values are at odds with our own, which erodes our moral standing in the world.

Joseph Tillotson

Redondo Beach


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