How to Spark an Iranian Revolution

(Foreign Affairs) Michael Ledeen - History suggests that sanctions will not compel Iran's leaders to scrap their nuclear program. Iran, which watched what happened to a disarmed Libya, will not back down. However, if the U.S. and its allies broadened their perspective and paid attention not merely to Iran's nuclear program but also to its larger assault on the West, they would see that a better option exists: supporting a democratic revolution in Iran. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has waged a low-level war on the U.S. Thus, defending the U.S. and its allies from Iranian terrorists and their proxies is the central issue. To meet that goal, Washington must replace the Islamic Republic's regime. The time has come for the U.S. to actively support Iran's democratic dissidents. The same methods that took down the Soviet regime should work: call for the end of the regime, broadcast unbiased news about Iran to the Iranian people, demand the release of political prisoners (naming them whenever possible), help those prisoners communicate with one another, enlist international trade unions to build a strike fund for Iranian workers, and find ways to provide other kinds of economic and technological support. The Iranian people have already demonstrated their willingness to confront the regime. The missing link is a Western decision to embrace and support democratic revolution in Iran. The writer is Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

2012-08-03 00:00:00

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