Is Iran Really Trying to Change Its Ways?

In the Opinion page article "Iran Through a Distorted Lens," March 2, the author writes:"During the 1980s, the US and the West exaggerated the Iranian threat and refused to recognize emerging changes in Iran."

The facts indicate otherwise. In his February 1992 report, Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, special representative of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), concluded that "Iran made no appreciable progress" concerning human rights. The UN official reported that the number of executions in 1991 had dramatically increased compared with the preceding year.

In March the UNHRC condemned the flagrant human-rights abuses by the ruling mullahs for the 11th time in 11 years. Earlier this month, the European Parliament denounced the "ethnic and sexist discrimination, particularly reflected in the marginalization of women" and deplored "the continuing increase in the Iranian regime's terrorist activities outside Iran."

The reality of Iran is so compelling and out of step with the global trend that substantive steps are required to rectify their international image. Alireza Jafarzadeh, Washington US Spokesman, People's Mojahedin of Iran Ugandan sources

The article "Doubts About Army and Rebels Persist in Northern Uganda," March 17, is welcome. I don't recall ever seeing a Gulu dateline in a United States publication. Your correspondent is commended for going to the scene rather than writing from the capital, as many often do.

However, I question the author's assertion that the National Resistance Army's final offensive last March "by all accounts, successfully broke the back" of Uganda Democratic Christian Army rebels, considering that the source of this information seems to be the government itself. Milton Allimadi, New York Tax cuts and fast food

In the Opinion page article "Tax Cuts: a Political 'Happy Meal'," March 19, the author argues that this isn't the time to give the middle class insignificant tax breaks, amounting to monthly trips to McDonald's, with the deficit looming before us. Yet he fails to convince me that forgoing these cuts will help improve life for my children.

Countless articles describe how wealth in America has shifted increasingly to the upper echelons. Corporations erode tax bases that support schools and infrastructure, or simply close shop and move south. The author fails to mention these beneficiaries of our huge deficit. Gina Schneider, Omaha, Neb. Controlling campaign coverage

Thanks for the article "TV as Gatekeeper," March 12. I have often wondered who decides which presidential campaigns are covered and which are not.

My wonder has increased recently as I have seen polls which show a plurality of voters wishing there were other candidates in the presidential race. I am surprised that the campaign of Andre Marrou, of the Libertarian Party, is not getting more coverage. It seems that a presidential campaign run by America's third largest party would be of interest to voters. John Kell, Blacksburg, Va. Clinton's Gulf war dilemma

In the Opinion page column "Is Clinton Trying to Have It Both Ways on Gulf War?," March 17, the author charges that Gov. Bill Clinton reluctantly supported the Gulf war, but now portrays himself as being warmer in his support than he actually was. However, the quotes from Mr. Clinton at the Monitor breakfast in September say substantively the same things he was quoted as saying in January in the Arkansas Gazette: that he supported the war, but that he understood the views of those who wanted to give sanc tions more time.

Has our political life become so divisive, so dominated by extremism, that we do not recognize simple moderation when we see it? Judson Veazey, Ft. Collins, Colo. Is Bush thinking long-term?

Regarding the Opinion page article "Bush Trade: Redwoods for Votes," March 17, indeed it is critical at this time to take a long-term view of our society, our economy, and our global environment. Sadly, I find that Mr. Bush and his administration are only capable of proposing short-term solutions to problems that have been developing over decades. Is his administration posing these solutions merely to be reelected, or because they are incapable of looking at the long term? Timothy Karsten, Summerland, Calif.

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