Wednesday, 10 February 2010

"...The Obama administration seems leery of banking its Iran policy on a protest movement that could sputter out or be crushed ..."

Via Friday-Lunch-Club

"At first blush, it seems like a godsend for U.S. foreign policy: a tenacious Iranian opposition, democratic in name at least, is challenging a regime that has caused the United States no end of headaches over the last 30 years......
Senior U.S. officials expressed empathy for the protestors in interviews with McClatchy. But given the sorry history of American intervention in Iran, anything the U.S. government did to try to help would do more harm than good, they said. In addition, the Obama administration seems leery of banking its Iran policy on a protest movement that could sputter out or be crushed.
"We're in for a stalemate . . . an extended one," predicted a senior State Department official, who requested anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity. The opposition will persist "but won't be capable of bringing down the government."
The regime, led by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, has so far been unwilling to order a full-scale, Tiananmen Square-like massacre of the protesters. "The government is concerned about crossing a limit where they risk losing the loyalty of their own security forces," the official said....
In parallel to the looming confrontation, Iran and western countries are in an increasingly tense standoff over Tehran's nuclear program. .....
All efforts to foment political change in Iran from the outside "have been a complete, utter failure," said Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council. Still, he said, "the silence on the human rights front is coming across as extremely strange."
The risk, Parsi said, is that both the Iranian regime and the protesters will conclude that Obama is so eager for a nuclear deal, he's willing to play down human rights.
Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, a reformist member of Iran's parliament from 2000 to 2004, said Obama distrusts Mousavi and other "green movement" leaders because they, too, support Iran's nuclear development. "I want to say this is wrong," Haghighatjoo said, adding that nuclear technology in the hands of Iranian democrats is much different than the same technology controlled by Iran's theocratic regime. She spoke at an event at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
Inside Washington's Beltway, the fate of Iran's regime has prompted a bitter verbal battle.
Those pushing for more action include prominent "neoconservatives" who led the push for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
But one of them, Robert Kagan, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said he's not calling for a U.S. invasion of Iran, and that the situation there should be compared not to Iraq, but to the former Soviet Union, the Philippines or South Africa before their revolutions...."

Posted by G, Z, or B at 8:05 AM
River to Sea
Uprooted Palestinian

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