TV personality Rick Steves (Rick Steves’ Europe) calls Iran “the most misunderstood country he has ever visited.” His 2008 documentary about his tourism in Iran reports a modern and developed society, the majority of whom admire the U.S. and the Western world.
Iran maintains that their nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes — nuclear energy and medical uses. Skeptics in Congress and Israel do not believe this, but the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), doing inspections in Iran for years, has not reported evidence to the contrary.
Despite naysayers and obstructionists, the negotiations that Iran agreed to with the P5+1 nations (U.S., China, France, Russia, the UK and Germany) are on track. There is great promise in the progress thus far.
UN inspectors with the IAEA report that Iran is complying with the demands of the agreement. According to the IAEA, Iran has stopped producing 20 percent enriched uranium (UF6), has disabled centrifuges producing UF6, has begun diluting its stockpile of UF6 to be complete in six months, has stopped installing additional centrifuges, has begun providing information required by the agreements and is granting increasing access to IAEA inspectors. The IAEA is doubling the numbers of their inspection teams and is installing additional monitoring equipment. All this means enhanced transparency of Iran’s nuclear program for the international community. “Trust but verify” has an honorable tradition in serious negotiations.— Nathaniel Batchelder,
Director of the Peace House in Oklahoma City, a member of Americans Against the Next War
Troy Scott’s letter to the editor (Commentary, Feb. 26, Oklahoma Gazette) decrying the pollution of smoking on state property, such as at park entrances, put me in mind of a little vignette at just such an entrance. Two nicely dressed women were leaving the park and, seeing a gentleman smoking by the entrance, one complained loudly, ostensibly to her friend in much the same vein as Mr. Scott. Then they got into her large SUV, backed out and headed down the road, a geyser of carbon monoxide and fuel exhaust waste spewing upon us.
— Jeannine Bettis
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