Iran: Change of Behavior or Regime Change?

(New York Post) Amir Taheri - Successive U.S. administrations have failed in their analyses of the Iranian regime. They've hoped the regime would change its behavior on issues including sponsoring international terrorism and stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. But the problem with the Khomeinist regime is not its behavior but its nature. At times, when feeling the pinch from particular sanctions or even military action against it, the regime temporarily modifies its behavior to weather the storm. Once the storm passes, it reverts to its natural behavior. Thirty years ago, the regime didn't have a nuclear program but was, nonetheless, a threat to regional peace. It sponsored terror, kidnapped Americans and Europeans, assassinated dissidents in Washington and London and oppressed the people of Iran. Every time it saw itself as threatened, it organized a tactical retreat but ended up returning to mischief-making on a grander scale. As always since 1979, the real question about Iran is: change of behavior or regime change? Behavior change is fool's gold. By promising "reforms," the regime spent that gold whenever it was in a tight spot at home. Today, Iranians have learned that the regime can't be reformed or behave contrary to its political DNA. It's programmed to oppress the Iranian people and export terror. Sanctions can be effective only as tools of a policy aimed at regime change.

2012-03-16 00:00:00

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