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US should help liberate Iran

JEFF JACOBY put it aptly when he wrote: "if we are going to win the war on terror, the liberation of Iran is not an option. It is a prerequisite" (op ed, March 11). As he pointed out, the olive branch policy, which the Europeans and bureaucrats at the State Department have pursued in dealing with the tyrants who have ruled Iran with an iron fist for 25 years, has utterly failed to steer that country toward a tolerant, moderate, and representative government.

 

Neither the arms for hostages deal in 1985, nor the blacklisting of Iran's only effective opposition movement, the Mujahedeen-e Khalq in 1997, quenched the mullahs' insatiable appetite to export fundamentalism abroad, particularly to Iraq, and pursue Iran's nuclear ambitions at home.

The vivid display of intolerance by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his extremist cohorts toward their allies of the past 25 years and Tehran's nearly two decades of deception and denial about its nuclear weapons program should serve as stark reminders that the West can ill afford to continue to promote conciliation with Tehran.

Ironically, Iran is the only country where, if given the opportunity, the citizens would vote the ruling fundamentalists out of office. The yearning for democracy has survived the clerical rulers' repression and brutality.

ALI M. SAFAVI

President

Near East Policy

Research Inc.

Alexandria, Va.

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