LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Law, not war, way out of Iran problem

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Peter Vincent Pry (“If Iran already has the bomb, what then?” Commentary, Thursday) makes some excellent points regarding the troubling possibility of Iran already possessing the nuclear capacity to wreak immediate and massive deaths and destruction on our nation.

What Mr. Pry and other Middle East experts overlook is Iran’s potential possession of biological weapons, which could cause equal death and disruption. All that Iran’s genocidal leaders may be waiting for to use them is a legitimate excuse to retaliate against any pre-emptive attack that Israel or the United States might launch. Retaliation would be, in Tehran’s eyes, a legitimate response; it would pin the blame for war on the West.

“Regime change in Iran” appears to be a rational and far less risky response, but “arming the majority who want to overthrow the mullahs” within the context of disarming Iran could backfire by sparking an equally troubling list of unintended consequences.

The majority of the Iranians are proud, wise and moral. They understand the insanity and unacceptable genocidal taunts that some of their highest leaders have voiced. Perhaps the United States would do better using the force of international law to oust Iran’s criminal leaders. Weapons possession isn’t a crime. Starting a war or inciting genocide is.

Iranian calls for the elimination of Israel and the Jewish people is a legitimate crime against humanity. Those who incite genocide are in violation of both the United Nations charter and the 1948 Genocide convention, which Iran ratified on Aug. 14, 1956.

The Iranian people should be given a deadline of Aug. 14 to indict any Iranian official who has incited such horrific goals. If they are unwilling or unable to do so, then the United Nations - with or without Security Council approval - should take a leadership role in removing any Iranian leader responsible for such dangerous rhetoric.

I believe law, not war, is the path out of this increasingly dangerous dilemma.

CHUCK WOOLERY

Former chairman

United Nations Council of Organizations

Rockville

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