Obama's leap of faith

The U.S. doesn't have a trustworthy negotiating partner in Iran.

Your recent editorial suggests the proposed framework agreement between the U.S. and Iran will reduce the risk of another Middle East war ("Negotiating with Iran," April 3).

There seems to be a leap of faith on the part of the Obama administration that Iran will behave responsibly and no longer behave as the world's pre-eminent sponsor of terrorism.

Yet Iran has terrorist proxies in the Gaza Strip (Hamas), Lebanon (Hezbollah), Syria and, most recently via the Shi'ite Houthis, Yemen.

Hamas' charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish people worldwide, and "Death to America" is still chanted by Iranian military and religious officials.

Just as Israel has never had a true peace partner in the Palestinians (especially if Fatah is now trying to reconcile its differences with Hamas), so does the U.S. and its allies not have a "peace partner" in Iran.

During the Arab Spring, Iranian youth who were disenchanted with their current government made soft noise at best in attempting to topple the regime, but there was no external support for them to be able to do so.

Throughout history, arduous economic times have led to the toppling of governments blamed for the hardships. Economic sanctions against Iran were apparently causing discontent among the masses and were putting pressure on the Iranian government.

Perhaps more intense economic sanctions and support of the Iranian people in their quest for a regime change may be a better alternative than an agreement that merely delays but doesn't stop Iran's drive to develop nuclear weapons.

Marc Okun

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