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Democratic critics of Obama's Iran policy show party's diversity of views [Letter]

2:15 PM EST, January 23, 2014

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Commentator Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. trots out New York Sen. Chuck Schumer's opposition to the president's Iran policy as the latest on why the Obama administration is wrong on everything else ("Schumer's Iran-deal criticism is rare break with Obama," Jan. 19).

Mr. Ehrlich forgot to mention that Senator Schumer's co-sponsor on tougher Iran sanctions was none other than fellow Democrat Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It's not unusual for Democrats to embrace a broad spectrum of opinion — unlike Republicans, who expect everyone in their party to act in lock step, as was the case in their repeated efforts to block the Affordable Care Act.

The Menendez-Schumer effort will likely fail, as it should. It is surely better to bring Iran into a nuclear nonproliferation regime. This will lead to greater peace in the Middle East, the Ehrlich-Netanyahu-Schumer-Menendez protestations notwithstanding.

Another thing that should be done is to include Iran in the upcoming Syrian peace conference. Iran is a player in the region; it has influence within Syria and it played a constructive role regarding Afghanistan's problems. The chances for peace improve when everyone is at the table.

Christopher Boardman

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