January 4, 2013
Letters to the Editor
The New York Times
To the Editor:
Re “How to talk to Iran” (Jan. 4):
The questionable assumption of Seyed Hossein Mousavian and Mohammad Ali Shabani’s article is that the Iranian regime views a deal on its nuclear program to be in its self-interest. The evidence -- the stalling, the continued enrichment of uranium, the unwillingness to stop the program in spite of sanctions that are biting -- suggests to the contrary, that developing a nuclear capability is the highest Iranian priority, one that may be tied in their minds to the very survival of the regime.
With this in mind, the authors’ argument that the West needs to focus on building trust with Iran and helping it save face is less relevant.
It is not the West’s aggressiveness toward Iran that is the problem, but Iran’s determination so far to move forward no matter the cost.
There may be nothing non-military that will prevent Iran from going nuclear. But if there is any chance at all, it will rest with even tougher sanctions imposed quickly and a diplomatic process that offers Iran normalcy in international relations in exchange for a verifiable abandonment of the regime’s nuclear weapons program.
The Anti-Defamation League