Over the past week, a new wave of anti-regime protests has broken out in Iran, and it could not have happened at a more opportune time. Following the defeat of ISIS in Syria, this gives America the clearest shot we have had in a long time at helping the Iranian people take down a dangerous and oppressive dictatorship. Please, please, please let’s not mess this up.
I describe this as a “clear shot,” because this is not the first time the Iranian people have risen up against their rulers. But each time it has happened before, America has seemed too distracted or blinded to do much about it.
The Islamic Republic—which is not a republic but a theocracy—has been on thin ice for a long time. It has often been observed that Iran was a rapidly modernizing and relatively liberal country before the Islamic Revolution in 1979, which in a way explains the revolution, as a backlash against all that modernity. But by the same token, the Iranian people have always chafed under the restrictions imposed by the mullahs, and have been trying to undo the Islamic takeover ever since, whenever public dissatisfaction reaches a boiling point.
Since the …read more