The clerical regime in Tehran is facing perhaps its biggest challenge since the immediate aftermath of the 1979 revolution that put it into power.
This is a very big deal.
For years, Iran has been the world’s biggest state sponsor of international terrorism (in particular the Hezbollah organization). That’s why it was criminally irresponsible for the Obama administration to weaken sanctions on Tehran, and airlift $1.7 billion in paper currency to them! This, after essentially ignoring previous unrest in 2009. In his quixotic quest for a meaningless “nuclear deal” with Iran, Obama spared no opportunity to help the mullahs. In doing so, he was enabling a regime that exported considerable trouble, including cooperation with other rogue regimes like the one in North Korea.
Many Obama alumni are calling on the current administration to also be silent, saying to speak out risks having Iran’s leaders brand the dissidents as “foreign agents.” This overlooks the power of moral support. Trump’s initial statement on the matter — a remarkably statesmanlike missive — was translated into Farsi and quickly passed around among the dissidents before the regime blocked access to social media. Obama’s team might well be wondering what else will come to light about them, should the mullahs lose power.
America remains the original modern Constitutional republic, however battered that system may be. The most powerful foreign policy tool available to us is modeling what a free society should look like. For more than two centuries people in other countries seeking a better way have looked to us for inspiration and example. We have not always lived up to such scrutiny, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Inspiration is far to be preferred over invasion as a means to advance freedom.
“Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she (America) goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.” – John Quincy Adams, 1821
Let us all offer “prayers and benedictions” that the Iranian people will finally free themselves of the original Islamist gangster regime. The world could be a much better place if they do.