Op-ed takes a too rosy view of Iranian intentions

Commentator Ray McGovern charges Israel with using the pretext of alleged Iranian support for terrorism, to "whip up support for war" ("Is Israel fixing the intel? Netanyahu's rhetoric has echoes of Bush administration's justification for the Iraq war," July 31).

The day before Mr. McGovern's commentary appeared, The Times of India reported that police in Delhi had concluded that "the suspects involved in the February 13 bomb attack on an Israeli diplomat in India's capital were members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of the nation's military." The group's leader also was said to have planned the strikes against Israelis in Georgia and Thailand.

Mr. McGovern doubts Iranian or Hezbollah involvement in the recent terrorist murders of Israelis in Bulgaria. But a suspect in the thwarted plan for a similar attack in Cyprus reportedly has confessed to working with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah.

He also claims that "since there is no mutual defense treaty between the U.S. and Israel, 'ally' actually is a misnomer — at least in the juridical sense." Yet a retired CIA analyst like Mr. McGovern ought to know that the United States long ago designated Israel as a major non-NATO ally.

Mr. McGovern, a founder of "Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity," has blamed "O.I.L." — oil, Israel, and logistics (the alleged desire for long-term U.S. bases in Iraq) — for the 2003 war with Saddam Hussein. But Iraq's cat-and-mouse games with international inspectors, conversion of the U.N.'s "oil-for-food" revenue and other actions helped convince former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Sen. Edward Kennedy, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and others across the political spectrum that Hussein was trying to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. McGovern signed a petition claiming the U.S. government knew about al-Qaeda's Sept. 11, 2001, plot in advance. He participated in the futile 2011 attempt to break Israel's sea blockade of the Gaza Strip, which was put in place to prevent weapons smuggling by Hamas terrorists.

In 2010, Mr. McGovern was outside the White House barking through a bullhorn, telling President Obama "to stand up for once … and speak to [Israeli Prime MinisterBenjamin] Netanyahu in no uncertain terms."

The U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency has warned that weapons may well be the goal of Iran's illicit nuclear program. The United States believes Iran tried to blow up the Saudi ambassador inside a busy Washington restaurant. But Ray McGovern is fixed on delusions of Israeli skulduggery.

Eric Rozenman, Washington

The writer is Washington director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • U.S. negotiations with Iran are a dangerous farce
    U.S. negotiations with Iran are a dangerous farce

    Having missed a July deadline for reaching an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, the six world powers party to the talks -- the United States, Russia, China, France, United Kingdom and Germany -- have set November 24 as their new deadline. Iran says there will be no extension if a deal...

  • Iran can't be trusted to keep its word
    Iran can't be trusted to keep its word

    Your recent editorial on the U.S.-Iran nuclear talks is another indication that the liberal media does not understand that negotiating with Iran from the position of weakness is a disaster ("Negotiating with Iran," April 3).

  • Keep talking with Iran
    Keep talking with Iran

    The announcement today that the U.S. and Iran have agreed to extend talks over Tehran's disputed nuclear program is far short of what we might have hoped for. But the extension can't be counted as a failure either. If the goal is to keep up the pressure on Iran's leaders to reach a deal, keeping...

  • Cardin must drop support for more Iran sanctions [Letter]
    Cardin must drop support for more Iran sanctions [Letter]

    Thank you for your support for continuing negotiations in your July 17th "Keep talking with Iran" editorial. U.S. and Iranian negotiators agreed to continue the talks through late November due to the progress they have made already toward peacefully resolving the standoff over Iran's nuclear program....

  • Congress should not kill Iran deal
    Congress should not kill Iran deal

    South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham got it right on Sunday when he said the framework accord between Iran and the major world powers on Tehran's disputed nuclear program is probably the best deal the Obama administration could have gotten. Of course, he didn't mean it as a compliment...

  • Congress should not dismiss Iran deal
    Congress should not dismiss Iran deal

    Before those opposed to the recent deal with Iran settle on their opposition ("Negotiating with Iran," April 5), I would hope they consider the following.

  • There's good reason not to trust Iran — or Democrats
    There's good reason not to trust Iran — or Democrats

    Most people agree there is a real problem with any relationship with Iran ("Negotiating with Iran," April 3).

  • Iran never threatened to 'wipe Israel off the map'
    Iran never threatened to 'wipe Israel off the map'

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israel will not accept any agreement that allows a country that vows to annihilate his nation to develop nuclear weapons.

Comments
Loading