Letters to the editors

Iranian relations

Re: “Iran should be allowed nukes” (September 17, 2010)

Dear Editors,

As an Iranian citizen, I enjoyed Yuchen Wang’s piece on the Iranian nuclear program. 

Mr. Wang seems to have a good overall knowledge of the topic, explores the implications of attacking Iran from a number of different angles and makes some very interesting points in his article.

However, I do have a couple of comments. The third paragraph reads: “As a country with extremely hostile relations with all its neighbours, an Iranian nuclear weapon is a disturbing prospect.”  

The first part of that sentence couldn’t be farther from the truth! For example, Iran enjoys good relations with Russia because of Russia’s rivalry with the U.S. Iran has become closer with Turkey since the pro-Islamic government came to power there. 

It is difficult to assess Iran’s relationship with Iraq because their government is currently unstable, but Iran has a very real influence on the Shiites in Iraq. Pakistan is on good terms with Iran because of Pakistan’s rivalry with India and is said to have transferred nuclear technology to Iran. 

Turkmenistan and most central Asian countries have no major problems with Iran. Iran is a close ally of Palestine, Lebanon and Syria, especially when it comes to the issue of Israel. 

Although nationalistic Arab feelings and U.S. influence have strained Iran’s friendship with some Arab states, these relationship are overall neutral and by no means “hostile.” The only country in the Middle East with which Iran is on truly bad terms is Israel.

Perhaps Mr. Wang should do more research before making bold statements like that, and not just assume things based on his overall impression of Iran from the media. 

Also, even if he was right in this matter (which he is not), it is good practice to avoid putting things in absolute terms (e.g. avoid using “all” in “extremely hostile relations with all its neighbours”), and instead use more careful words like “most of,” “the majority of,” etc. 

It only takes one exception to make a general statement like that incorrect. Besides, not many things in this world are as clear-cut as that!

Reza Saiedi, MASc ’09

Iran is a threat

Re: “Iran should be allowed nukes (September 17, 2010)

Dear Editors,

Mr. Wang makes a supremely weak argument for allowing the Islamic Republic to go nuclear.

First of all, let me say explicitly that neither I nor, I think, most of my peers ever reacted with a phrase as obscene as “bomb the bastards” vis-a-vis the Iranian nuclear program.

Moreover, I find the argument that because Iran has a geographic advantage we should turn a blind eye to its nuclear ambitions illogical and ill-conceived.

Should it not concern us more that a regime that is killing its own people, consolidating power in the hands of a theocratic-conservative alliance of Mullahs and dictators, attacking NATO and coalition forces (yes, our troops as well) in Afghanistan and Iraq, funding Hamas in Palestine and Hezbollah in Lebanon, is looking to attain a nuclear weapon?

Perhaps Mr. Wang is fine with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-il or Bashar Assad having a nuclear weapon, but I for one am not.

Omer Aziz, ArtSci ’12

Ground Zeroes

Re: “Palin’s mosque mess” (July 27, 2010)

Dear Editors,

Has anyone asked how many ‘Ground Zeroes’ the U.S. Army has created near Mosques in Muslim countries? Because I find that offensive.

Simon Amherst

ArtSci ’88

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