Americans have little understanding of the dynamics surrounding Iran's nuclear policy ("Difficult diplomacy ahead regarding Iran," editorial, April 6). The most important fact is that Iran is signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to which the United States and virtually every other country in the world is signatory (except Israel, Pakistan, India, North Korea and South Sudan). The NPT was finalized in 1970. It prohibits all non-nuclear weapons states at the time of the treaty, including Iran, from developing nuclear weapons. This is an actual binding treaty. It does allow signatories to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, including uranium enrichment — something 19 non-nuclear weapons nations other than Iran do with no complaints from the United States or other nations.
The George W. Bush administration had a publicly announced policy advocating "regime change" in Iran, and it accused Iran of developing nuclear weapons as a way to convince Americans and other nations that Iran's government should be overthrown. This was a false accusation. The Bush administration imposed economic sanctions on Iran to try to force it to stop its legal uranium enrichment.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was an international agreement, not a binding treaty, that aimed to "build confidence" that Iran was not violating the NPT by limiting its nuclear development, including Iranian uranium enrichment. The JCPOA reduced sanctions on Iran in return. Former President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the JCPOA and reimposition of sanctions on Iran triggered Iran resuming uranium enrichment, still legal under the NPT. Thus, Iran is still in full compliance with the NPT. It still is prohibited from developing nuclear weapons. Its leaders have repeatedly renounced the use of nuclear weapons.
Any other negotiations with Iran on missiles, regional political activity or human rights fall outside of both the NPT and the JCPOA, and must be negotiated separately.
William O. Beeman, San Jose, Calif.
Other pesticides are risky, too
Karin Winegar's commentary detailing some state legislative initiatives being made to reduce the public, environmental and animal health risks of pesticides is most encouraging ("Minnesota is poised to lead environmental breakthrough," Opinion Exchange, April 7).
The use of flea-control insecticides on pets also needs closer examination, considering the recent discovery of some widely used anti-flea topical insecticides, especially fipronil and imidacloprid, in wastewater (from bathing pets) and in rivers and streams (from allowing treated dogs into the water) reported in the U.K. and the U.S. Both the British and American Veterinary Medical Associations (I am a member of both) have reported these concerns in their professional journals.
These insecticides are toxic to aquatic invertebrates and pollinators in parts-per-trillion concentrations, and toxic degradates have half-lives of up to several hundred days. The Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. needs to take action. Dog owners and groomers bathing dogs and hunters allowing dogs to enter freshwater ecosystems should not do so if these animals have been given topical insecticides or are wearing repellent-insecticide-impregnated collars.
Michael W. Fox, Golden Valley
The writer is a veterinarian.
POLITICS IN SPORTS
Opinions not welcome, apparently
An Associated Press article on April 6 reported that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell lambasted large corporations (Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola and MLB) for daring to take a stand against certain Republican positions, such as Georgia's recently passed election law. Apparently, Republicans are chagrined to see members of their primary donor base publicly oppose their positions! "It's quite stupid to jump in the middle of a highly controversial issue," McConnell warned, going on to add, "They have the right to participate in the political process," but, "If I were running a major corporation, I'd stay out of politics." The contradiction is as stark as it is patronizing.
This is a lesson that applies not only to the big-money corporate donors, but to rank-and-file voters: Republicans are not interested in your opinions or your civic actions. Just hand over your money and be quiet. This disrespect for Republican voters continues: Trump's re-election campaign was recently forced to repay over $100 million to grassroots donors who were unknowingly tricked into signing up for recurring donations.
George K. Atkins, Minneapolis
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In response to corporations indicating their displeasure with the new Georgia voter registration laws, McConnell stated that corporations should "stay out of politics." For once, I fully agree with McConnell. Corporations should comply with his wishes by cutting off all donations to politicians.
John Jackson, Bloomington
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Georgia's new voting law ensures a lengthy early voting period and absentee voting while protecting the integrity of elections with voter ID. Here are the issues many Democratic leaders are in full rage about such that they've convinced MLB to pull the All-Star Game out of the state.
Currently 36 states require some form of ID to cast a ballot at a voting site. An Associated Press poll shows that 72% of Americans support voter ID, including 56% of Democrats. It's a nonissue.
The law protects from campaigning at voting sites via bringing food and drinks to people in line and trying to influence their vote.
It limits the number of drop boxes in each county, unlike this past election where they were spread all over the state, in order to keep a reasonable handle on them to avoid tampering.
President Joe Biden received four "Pinocchios" from the left-leaning Washington Post for his lies describing this new law.
So why do Democratic leaders rage against this new voting law in a swing state when it obviously protects voting rights for every eligible voter, helps to prevent voter fraud and actually expands accessibility in some areas such as by securing drop-off boxes? The answer appears clear as day.
Patrick Ropella, Mason City, Iowa
Another option: Go digital
Regarding an April 7 letter to the editor bemoaning non-environmentally friendly delivery bags ("Those bags are green, but not really," Readers Write): Do the obvious and subscribe to the e-edition. Not only will the reader save considerable subscription cost, the change will save paper, ink, energy to run the presses, fuel to distribute and deliver that printed edition, and that awful plastic bag.
Bill Chappell, Chanhassen
The writer is an environmental commissioner for the city of Chanhassen.
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In response to the letter regarding the Star Tribune being delivered in plastic bags:
Not everyone has a protected area for paper delivery. Not everyone gets the paper delivered directly to the front door, even if it is somewhat protected. I am grateful every week that my carriers do put the paper in a plastic bag. As I write this, with the rain pouring down, the paper would have been soaked through and unreadable. I think most of us try to be conservation-minded, but there are practical concerns as well. The Star Tribune cannot be all things to all people.
Janet Grieder, Maple Grove
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In reply to the complaint that the green bags that the home delivery paper comes in are not compostable: No, they are not. Even better, they are recyclable. It's printed right on the bag.
Judy M. Simpson, Minneapolis
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