Washington Must Plan Today for Democratic Iran of Tomorrow

(Forward) Michael Rubin - Washington's chief concern is not that Iran would use nuclear weapons - although Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former president who lost the run-off election to Ahmadinejad but who remains the second most powerful man in Tehran, threatened to do just that on December 14, 2001. Rather, the administration's worry is that with a nuclear deterrent, Iranian hardliners might feel themselves immune from the consequences of their actions. The White House has a number of policies that could empower Iranians to the point where they win the same rights for themselves that Georgians, Ukrainians, Lebanese, and even Bhutanese have in the past year. A democratic Iran might not abandon its nuclear program, but neither would it sponsor anti-American terrorism, undercut the Middle East peace process, or deny Israel's right to exist. Democratization, therefore, can take the edge off the Iranian threat. Iranians are increasingly bold in their demands for democracy. Washington should spare no effort to support them, cynical and counterproductive European resistance to democratization notwithstanding.

2005-07-08 00:00:00

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