- The Washington Times - Friday, April 17, 2009

Notwithstanding your recent editorial (“Civilian use?” Editorial, April 2), Iran’s nuclear-enrichment program cannot be rationalized in terms of what simply makes economic sense. Iran has time and again shown that there is no cost too big for protecting its sovereignty. Furthermore, it is not lost on Iranians that your editorial’s prescriptions are based on “economic reasons” that were somehow left by the wayside during the reign of the Shah, when the United States supported (and even touted) the construction of an indigenous, future-oriented Iranian nuclear program.

Especially in light of the upcoming Iranian presidential elections, the principle of mutual understanding is something the Obama administration and informed Americans see as necessary to moving forward and combating the popular perceptions on which ideological extremism (and Iranian centrifuges) have flourished.

We must not continue to spend our limited time on generating more suspicion of Iran’s intentions (we have plenty of reasons already), and we must accept that Iran has attained a nuclear-enrichment capability with minimal international safeguards and with the potential for nefarious use that we cannot wish away. There is no viable alternative to engagement, so let’s stop trying to slow it down.

ERIKS BERZINS

United Nations Association of the USA



New York

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