The Current Discussion: Are we witnessing a pro-regime coup in Iran? What should the world do in response? How will the election aftermath affect Iran's projection of power into the Middle East?
Of course Democrats worldwide must support those in Iran who are trying to expand their freedoms. There are three very important reasons to give them that support:
(1) If Iran evolves toward a political system that is more open and secular, the danger of international war is reduced. That can happen without the need for Iran to stop being an Islamic nation, as happens in Turkey, a country that does not threaten its neighbors and is an international factor whose behavior is consistently constructive.
(2) If the non-fanatical sector triumphs in Iran, it will bring an end to Tehran's support to terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, which not only acts against Israel but also has attacked innocent civilian objectives in Madrid and Buenos Aires. The United States estimates Iranian support for Hezbollah to be about $100 million a year.
(3) The Iranians who have taken to the streets to protest expect solidarity from the free world. Failure to give them that solidarity, even if only on a moral plane, would be like telling the retrograde forces of the religious fanatics that they can do anything they wish against a people pleading for freedom because nobody really cares.
It is important for the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, i.e., the world's great democracies, to emphatically support the Iranians who ask for freedoms, not only through their governments but also through the public pressure from political parties, labor unions and the rest of the organizations in their civil societies. It is not a question of artificially feeding a conflict but of supporting the sector that's ethically attune to the West. Not to do so would be a shameful moral abdication.
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