Armaments in Iran

The sources relied on in the Opinion page article "Arms Buildup in Iran Belies the Image of a 'Moderate' Regime," Feb. 6, are unreliable.

Depending on an Iranian opposition group which, in the author's parlance, operates "from bases in Iraq," leads to such erroneous assertions as: "The Iranian regime has authorized expenditure of $14.5 billion on weapon purchases and other military expenses this year."

Even a glance at the Iranian budget figures would readily illustrate the absurdity of fabrications produced by a so-called opposition group with a long history of terrorist and mercenary activities - including complicity in the suppression of Iraqi people last April.

In the real world, Iran has a modest defense budget - 1.3 percent of its GDP. Comparatively speaking, it is less than all of her neighbors. The total yearly revenue of Iran, in foreign exchange rates, is almost $19 billion. Taking into account that Iran has to feed its 58 million people and rebuild an economy devastated by an imposed war by Iraq, it is absolutely illogical to even guess that the alleged numbers in the column are true. Ramin Rafirasme, New York Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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