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Negotiate with Iran over nukes, or go to war

To the editor: Michael Oren manages to pour every villainous country, from North Korea to Nazi Germany, into his opposition to an international agreement containing Iran's nuclear program. In reality the issue is simply whether, with reasonable monitoring, an agreement emerges that will adequately restrict or prevent Iran's development of nuclear weapons. ("Why Obama is wrong about Iran being 'rational' on nukes," op-ed, June 19)

The fact that Iran is dominated by a militant religious order and that it supports subversive movements such as Hezbollah is not relevant. The same was said of the Soviet Union, yet a series of nuclear agreements were negotiated starting in 1963.

Iran is not North Korea. The strategic environment is different. The Iranian economy needs trade and is thus deeply affected by sanctions. The current government, though not free from the constraints of hard-liners, was elected (unlike North Korea) on a platform of negotiation and ending the sanctions.

Many Israeli and Saudi critics may prefer a regime-change policy rather than a nuclear agreement. The U.S. can't let itself to be hijacked into that agenda.

David Perel, Los Angeles

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President Nixon's opening of the door to China created one of our most dangerous adversaries around the globe. Similarly, a deal with Iran lifting economic sanctions would provide our adversaries with funding for terrorist strikes and death around the globe. By lifting sanctions on Iran, President Obama's legacy would stand alongside Nixon's of empowering China.

David Laufer, Oxnard

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