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Holding Iran to a nuclear deal may be a challenge

To the editor: Michael Krepon may well be correct that the Iran nuclear deal in the works serves U.S. interests, but his endorsement exposes a chink that cannot be ignored — namely the challenge to hold Iran to the deal. ("The Obama administration is seeking the right deal with Iran," op-ed, Feb. 27)

Krepon contends that international inspector access to declared and "undeclared, secret facilities" will prevent an Iranian "sprint" to the bomb. But by definition inspectors cannot inspect "secret" sites unless revealed by intelligence or Iranian authorities themselves.

The problem is that unresolved secrecy remains troubling even today. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency's most recent public evaluation (Feb. 19), "the agency is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities."

If the international community is to have confidence in an agreement, the mullahs in Iran must allay longstanding IAEA concerns. Absent that, the reliability of any agreement will be suspect.

Bennett Ramberg, Los Angeles

The writer served as a policy analyst in the State Department's Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs in the George H.W. Bush administration.

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To the editor: Krepon has hit the nail on the head. The proposed deal with Iran (supported by Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia) is, on balance, a good agreement. Iran, having been put on notice that acquiring nuclear weapons is a non-starter, is being invited to normalize relations with the Western world.

Those in opposition to this impending agreement — namely Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, along with John Bolton, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — have one thing in common: They supported the Iraq war, arguably the greatest foreign policy debacle in U.S. history.

How ironic: These people drove Iraq into the arms of our nemesis Iran. Debate over, Mr. President — let's seal the deal.

Bob Teigan, Santa Susana

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To the editor: Regarding the negotiation terms with Iran, if Netanyahu opposes them then Israel is free to negotiate its own terms with Iran.

Unfortunately, given Netanyahu's bellicosity, he is more likely to threaten war than engage in peaceful negotiations.

Arch Miller, Arcadia

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