To the editor: In its latest fact-checking lapse, The Times permitted Ali Gharib to characterize me as "right-wing." ("Did Iran 'toy' with the U.S.?," Opinion, Jan. 13)
For Gharib, whose bio appears on the website of the Nation as "a contributor to the Nation [who] worked as a reporter at ThinkProgress and Inter Press Service," anyone holding mainstream, centrist views on Middle East politics might qualify as "right-wing." But since Times editors apparently failed to ask Gharib for any documentation to support his accusation, Times readers can be excused for accepting his description at face value.
For the record, I have directed Washington's most respected center for policy analysis and prescription on the Middle East for 23 years. The Washington Institute is decidedly nonpartisan — neither right nor left, neither Republican nor Democratic. My colleagues include former senior officials of administrations of both parties, and our board of advisors includes political leaders from both sides of the aisle and statesmen with experience in administrations of both parties.
I myself have testified before Congress on numerous occasions, sometimes as a witness for Democrats, sometimes as a witness for Republicans.
I suspect Gharib is irked by my views on the importance of strong U.S.-Israel relations, as is his right. But given that Gallup polls routinely show that seven out of 10 Americans share those views, it is stunning that Gharib could label them (or me) "right-wing" — or that The Times would permit such calumny on its op-ed page.
Robert Satloff, Washington
The writer is executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.