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Opinion | Rising Tensions Between the U.S. and Iran

Category: Diplomatic Relations,Politics

To the Editor:

ReWhite House Reviews Iran Plan for 120,000 Troops if Attacked” (front page, May 14):

The Trump administration likes to use “show of force” to intimidate, whether it is toward those seeking to escape violence in Central America or sovereign states like North Korea. Usually President Trump does not follow through, but this latest example of foreign policy by bullying is in the hands of John Bolton, a man who has been spoiling for a fight with Iran for more than a decade.

Mr. Bolton and other hawks in the administration seem to be following a well-worn script. Push the offending country into a corner either economically or militarily, bring more troops to the area, use minor or manufactured incidents like the Gulf of Tonkin episode or the presence of weapons of mass destruction to justify a military response, and then see it spiral out of control.

Will this be a repeat, or have we learned from the past?

John N. Corbin
Cary, N.C.

To the Editor:

I just returned from a visit to Iran. In various conversations I had with very intelligent and educated people, I heard over and over again that if the United States wants to have a war with Iran, bring it on. They consider the United States’ severe sanctions an act of war.

A 70-year-old relative who detests the Iranian regime told me he would volunteer to fight if a war started. His 40-year-old son said the same thing. They are fed up with the unfair and punishing sanctions.

What I found out on this trip was how much President Trump’s policies have turned the Iranian people — one of the most pro-American people in the Middle East — so anti-American. Their argument is that whatever flaws the regime has — and there are many — it is meeting all its obligations under the Iran nuclear agreement. They said they are suffering because Mr. Trump wants to undo former President Barack Obama’s policies.

It was shocking for me to hear these arguments from educated and well-to-do people in Tehran. I can imagine the attitude of those living in the less fortunate part of the country. They would volunteer to fight in a heartbeat.

Knowing the attitude of the Iranian population, I can confidently say: A war with Iran would make the Iraq war look like a cakewalk.

Alan Sadeghi
Irvine, Calif.


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