How can the U.S. help Iran’s Green Movement?

The other uprisings, specifically the one now in Libya, and the fact that news isn’t getting out of Iran easily, have taken away the focus on Iran in the U.S. media. Ray Takeyh of Washington Post provides the following analysis of the situation and how the U.S. government can help.

“The only durable solution to Iran’s nuclear conundrum was always empowerment of the Green Movement. Tehran’s callous leadership, indifferent to the financial penalties of its nuclear truculence, was hardly prone to make cost-benefit assessments and constructively participate in negotiations. Although it has been customary since the disputed presidential election of 2009 for the Washington establishment to pronounce the demise of the Green Movement, the battered Iranian opposition has succeeded in de-legitimizing the theocratic regime and enticing a significant portion of the population to contemplate life beyond the parameters of clerical despotism. Citizens’ disenchantment was mirrored by the steady stream of defecting regime loyalists, who have forsaken their revolutionary patrimony. The breakdown of ideological controls in Iran is bound to affect the cohesion and solidarity of its security services. Deprived of popular credibility or a convincing dogma, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei may not even be able to enforce his rule through fear.

The key challenge for the United States is to find ways to connect with the Green Movement. As important as social media or rhetorical declarations may be, such measures are limited. The model of Eastern Europe is instructive, as the West managed to covertly use a range of institutions, such as the Catholic Church and labor unions, to funnel assistance to dissidents. Several parts of Iranian civil society – labor syndicates, savvy youth, clerical dissidents, liberal protesters and universities – exist in a state of perpetual rebellion; they deserve to be beneficiaries of American advice and assistance. Whether motivated by idealism or a desire to advance practical security concerns, the West must recognize that the only thing standing between the mullahs and the bomb is the Green Movement.

The demise of the Islamic Republic is inevitable. Should the Middle East move toward realizing the aspirations of its citizens, and embrace pluralism and accountability, it is hard to see how a retrogressive clerical tyranny can persist in the region. During the democratic transition, there is still the challenge of tempering Iran’s pernicious ambitions, and the mullahs’ penchant for terrorism must still be addressed. The chimera of a diplomatic solution should no longer blind the international community to Iran’s political vulnerabilities. In the end, the most effective means of disarming the Islamic Republic and ending its reign of terror is to invest in the indomitable Green Movement.”

You can read the entire article at Washington Post.

1 Comment

HermanNovember 19th, 2014 at 7:04 am

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