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We can't trust Iran, but war is not inevitable [Letter]

IranIsraelIranian Nuclear TalksNuclear WeaponsMahmoud AhmadinejadHassan Rouhani

Should we trust the Iranian government? No — nor should we totally trust any other government. I always remember President Reagan's statement about Russia when he said "trust but verify" ("The nuclear deal with Iran," Nov. 25).

I was born in Iran and lived there until I was 18 years old. I moved to the U.S. in 1978, and I have been an American citizen since 1987.

Should the current Iranian government be allowed to possess nuclear bombs? Should we abandon our ally Israel? Attack Iran and start yet another ground war in the Middle East? Definitely no to the first two, probably not to the third. Our economy could crash again as it did in 2007 when we put so much of this country's resources into Iraq and Afghanistan.

Should we snub the Iranian government and have French, Russian, and Chinese middlemen take care of our business? That's not advisable. Not only do we take care of our own problems, we are also the only ones who really care about our own destiny.

Should we trust Israel's claim that Iran is ready to bomb it, thus supporting Israel's proposed attack on Iranian's suspected nuclear sites? Not unless we are naive enough to believe that American lives and properties will not be affected, either directly or indirectly. We have gone down this road before by providing "unconditional" support to Israel in the past four decades.

Should we increase the economic severity of sanctions on Iran, so they get on their knees and come to the negotiation table with a better offer? Not quite sure about that one, but we do know the following:

Sanctions have only harmed average Iranian people while allowing the government to increase the country's uranium enrichment facilities six-fold.

Cornering any nation and pushing it to its breaking point may backfire. America is not in a position to allocate its blood and treasure on the basis of hot-headed politicians bent on policing the world. Our greatest competitor and nemesis is China, and it would love to see us bogged down in more foreign military entanglement so they can dominate our last viable industry — space technology.

The newly elected President Hassan Rouhani of Iran is a moderate who was cooperating with the Western governments back in early 2000, when he served under President Khatami, the most-known moderate official in Iran.

Mr. Rouhani had been opposing the hard-liner government of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad throughout the Green Movement revolution in 2008. Additionally, he currently is taking heavy political shots at home from hot-headed politicians opposing the agreement with the United States.

I certainly understand the culture of the mistrust between the U.S. and Iran but I also understand that we are Americans and our only concern should be American lives and prosperity. Being hot-headed, staying behind-the-scenes, and allowing others decide our fate is not the right thing for America.

Let's stick with our six-month interim agreement with Iran and keep our eyes and ears open for 100 percent verification of the facts. And we should remember a few words of advice: "Keep your trusted friends close, but keep your mistrusted partners even closer."

Reza Kaliush

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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