Rethinking our Iran strategy

Rethinking our Iran strategy

Three decades of assumptions about Iran — including the premises behind Washington’s recent outreach to Tehran — have been transformed by its stunning uprising. It’s time for a policy rethink.

The Obama administration’s offer to engage was the right idea. But the theocracy’s brutal crackdown on the opposition since the June 12 presidential election, followed by the purge of senior politicians in show trials and an alarming increase in general executions, marks a turning point for Iran’s revolution. U.S. policy now needs a broader approach. Recent history offers relevant guidelines.

The three most important revolutions of the 20th century — for their political innovation and impact — happened in the Soviet Union, China and Iran. At the peak of revolutionary paranoia, the Soviet Union and China witnessed turmoil similar to what is happening today in Iran. Soon afterward, however, Moscow and Beijing altered course. Both began the move from defiant revolutionary regime to a normal state willing to work within the international order and mended relations with the United States. [continued…]

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1 thought on “Rethinking our Iran strategy

  1. Dave Kimble

    Wright fails to mention that the secret 1985-6 arms deals she describes is better known as the Iran-Contra Affair, and the devious politician at the Iranian end of the deal was none other than Mir Hossein Mousavi – then Prime Minister and now the CIA’s favourite “reformist”.

    There was also no mention of the purge of political opponents in 1988 that was far worse than anything we have seen this year – over 3,000 prisoners were executed, when Mousavi was Prime Minister and “reformist” Rafsanjani was President.

    No mention of a meeting in Dubai between State Department officials and Mousavi’s close aide, Mehdi Khazali, ahead of the presidential elections, no doubt plotting how to subvert the election results should they not turn out as hoped.

    No mention of the fact that Obama re-imposed Bush’s sanctions on Iran just a week before making his Nowruz speech – slapping the Iranians in the face then holding out the hand of friendship.

    No mention of Senator John Kerry’s rejection of the old Bush policy opposing Iranian enrichment as “ridiculous”, given that the NNPT allows all signatories to enrich their own fuel. And nothing about the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that said that Iran has no nuclear weapons program, nor the IAEA’s repeated assertions that it can find no evidence of such a program.

    And no mention of Obama increasing the funding for regime change by soft revolution following his meeting on 8th January with Haleh Esfandiari, who runs the Middle East desk at the Wilson Center, and is therefore Wright and Litwak’s boss. Odd, don’t you think ?

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