Western Response to the Iran Protests

There are two opposing views of what the West should do about the protests in Iran.  The liberal view, as exemplified by former Pres. Obama, and a current article in the NYT by a former staffer of his, Philip Gordon, is “be quiet” and do nothing.  Don’t interfere in the internal affairs of another country and by doing so give the Ayatollahs and the Mullahs reason to brand the protesters as agents of America.

The right-wing view is that the US and other Western countries should interfere and support the protesters.  This is what Pres. Trump and PM Netanyahu have done by issuing statements supporting the rights of the protesters.  Pres. Macron of France has made a similar statement and has cancelled a visit by his FM to Iran.  I totally agree with this view.  To sit back and do nothing while the mass of people are protesting the financial hardships and repressive measures of this clerical dictatorship is unacceptable.  In 2009, when the election was clearly falsified, and the people revolted, they were left without any support and many were murdered.  That time there was a specific event that triggered the uprising.

This time the trigger was more general, the fact that the majority of the population are young and they cannot get jobs and the economic situation is deteriorating, while they see the regime spending billions of dollars on exporting their revolution to the Arab world, in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen, as well as developing nuclear weapons.  This is the kind of situation that brings down dictatorships.  In Iran things are somewhat complicated by the fact that the Iranians Revolutionary Guard (IRG), the backbone of the regime, are themselves involved in owning industries and have a strong incentive to support the regime and put down any unrest.  However, similar situations have occurred in previous dictatorships, such as Russian Communism (where the so-called “nomeclatura” were financially rewarded by the regime).   It didn’t help then and it won’t help now.

The removal of the Iranian regime as a threat to Israel and the Sunni States (Saudi Arabia) and the peace of the world is of such importance that not to support the protesters would be an act of folly.