A reader writes:

You posted a quick blurb from a reader who believes our lack of diplomatic relations with Iran prevented us from gathering intelligence on the Iranian democracy movement, and naturally blames neocons.

As if having diplomatic relations with a country prevents us from having covert agents on the ground.  News flash: the CIA has been actively recruiting Arabs for this exact purpose. I know first hand because two Arabic-speaking friends of mine received unsolicited contact by the CIA for such purposes. Does anyone really believe Iran would allow American representatives to openly and willfully mingle with pro-democratic or anti-regime movements? Especially given their past history?

Focusing blame on neocons is fine when warranted but just concluding that it's their fault because they do not have official diplomatic relations seems far-fetched.

[Update: not as far-fetched as recruiting "Arabs" for gathering intelligence in a non-Arab, Farsi-speaking country. Apologies for this email. I should have caught this.]


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