Anti-government protests in Iran are now a week old and showing no signs of abating. This will no doubt get very ugly when the crackdown by the mullahs comes, which it certainly will. So what are we learning about the assumptions about Iran and policies applied by the Obama administration and their results and future prospects? Quite a lot, and it isn’t pretty:
- Obama’s people peddled the notion that a much firmer approach to Iran by Trump would unify the Iranian public in opposition to the U. S. Wrong. This protest is all about the resentment of the regime by the people in the streets who have been badly misled.
- The nuclear deal was projected by Obama and his people to have the result of “evolving” the behavior of the Iranian regime toward the U. S. and strengthen the standing of more moderate factions. Wrong. This isn’t happening.
- The previous administration sold the bill of goods that the billions in resources we released to the Iranian regime in exchange for the nuclear deal would be used “for butter, not guns”. Wrong. Substantial sums are being spent through the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to back our enemies all over the region and to prop up Syria’s Bashad Assad.
What should we be doing? First, we should understand that the Iranian Republic is a leftover relic from 20th century historicist ideologies that needs to go. Obama didn’t get this; I sense that Trump does and he also gets the fact that they are a profound threat to American security. And in his own inimitable way, he is taking the appropriate lead by expressing his support for the oppressed Iranian people in the streets and recognizing the difference between them and their government. The Europeans and the Democrats should be doing the same and loudly supporting this fight for freedom, but don’t hold your breath.