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U.S. senator has "deep admiration" for Iranians

In a letter (March 5, 1999) U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer explains her comments on Iranians in a recent interview with Larry King. Her reference to Iran as a "terrorist nation" upset many Iranians who emailed her and demanded an apology:

Dear Friend:

Thank you for contacting me about my appearance on the February 10, 1999 episode of "Larry King Live." I appreciate hearing from you.

In that interview with Larry King, I made a comment, in the context of the Iran-Contra affair of the early 1980's, in which I referred to Iran as a terrorist nation. The Secretary of State has designated Iran as a state-sponsor of terrorism, and the United States has serious concerns about certain policies of the Iranian government.

Nevertheless, this does not change my deep admiration for the people of Iran. As the cradle of civilization, Iran has a long history with a rich culture. For centuries, the people of Iran have made significant contributions to human civilization, including a rich history of ideas, art, music and literature. I have a great respect for these long-standing traditions.

While the United States may have differences with the government of Iran, we have no quarrels with its people. Again, I appreciate hearing from you on this matter, and I hope you will continue to contact me about those issues that matter to you.


Barbara Boxer
United States Senator


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