• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Time for Regime Change in Iran

    If ever there was a case for regime change, today’s Iran is it. Today on the anniversary of the revolution that brought the country’s authoritarian, theocratic government to power offers an opportunity to rectify the mistake made by the Obama administration last summer when it failed to lend material support to Iran’s burgeoning pro-democracy movement. The “don’t rock the boat” approach has not worked — as was amply clear at the time that it would not do. In fact, it was dangerously naive. The notion that the ayatollahs would somehow like the United States and the political system it represents if only we would leave them to oppress their own population has been disproven. Supreme leader Ayatollah Khameni promised to deliver a “punch” to the west on this Iran’s day of celebration, if such it can be called.

    Iran’s leaders want to be treated with the respect accorded nuclear states, like North Korea, and its wants to assert regional dominance. Neither of these are in the interest of the United States, Israel, or indeed the Middle East as a whole. Iran is again warning the world of its ambitions, boasting about the ability to process 20 percent purified enriched uranium, which places it on the way to weapons grade quality — in addition to censoring, imprisoning and oppressing its own political dissidents. The Tehran regime is not just antithetical to American values, it is regionally destabilizing. More often than not, the two go hand in hand around the world.

    This is why the tools of American public diplomacy should be deployed in the service of pro-democracy movements and regime change in Iran. Iranians desperately need independent, trustworthy information — such as provided by Radio Free Iran, the U.S. government’s surrogate broadcaster. Funding for its programs should be generously increased, particularly focused on radio as the medium as television is vulnerable due to the visibility of satellite dishes. Internet is clearly sensitive to government control and interference, as is cell phone serve, which makes them vulnerable. Yet in the age of new technology, total control remains extremely hard to maintain and the U.S. government should continue to work with Iranians abroad setting up pro-democracy websites. Funding is difficult to funnel to the Iranian opposition and often evokes suspicion if bearing the mark of the U.S. government. Yet, working through third party organizations will provide opportunities.

    And most of all, the U.S. government should announce that regime change is official U.S. policy, which will certainly lend moral support to Iranians under sever pressure at home. By now, it should be amply clear that accommodation is not going to lead anywhere but more of the same threatening Iranian behavior.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Time for Regime Change in Iran

    1. Martin Nielsen, Oslo says:

      I travelled for three weeks in Iran last month, talking to a lot of people, many of them considering themselves a part of the green movement. An outspoken US support for the Iranian green movement is just what Ahmadinejad is hoping for. It would be good for nothing exept helping the governments attempts to nail all opposition members as foreign agents.

    2. Pingback: Morning Bell: The President Must Stop Voting “Present” on Iran | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    3. Pingback: The President Must Stop Voting “Present” on Iran « Socialism is not the Answer

    4. Charles Wilson, Sand says:

      How long will this go on? The current Tehran regime has caused the loss of life, many of ours, in the entire region. And the "talk" goes on. This is the same "talk" that went on prior to WWII giving time for Hitler to build his military. However, this scenario could be much, much worse. We are trying to use reason with fanatics? Stupid!

    5. JD Golden, Scottsdal says:

      For much of our modern history, the US was placed in the position of asserting facts gathered by our intelligence community that were denied by our enemies. Now Iran asserts that it is a nuclear power, intends to destroy Israel and advocates "Death to America". Why should we deny the accuracy and seriousness of these assertions? There is no reason to believe that we can bring about "regime change" in Iran. Current US efforts to employ "crippling" economic sanctions will not work without the complete support of China and Russia and you cannot negotiate with an implacable enemy. The only realistic solution is to quickly destroy the nuclear facilities in Iran. There is no downside to such action. Will Iran somehow hate us more or become more of a threat if we take such steps now? When Israel destroyed Syria's nuclear facility in 2007 did that exacerbate Syria's enmity of Israel or did it just make Israel more safe?

    6. jansuzanne Krasner says:

      Support the Iranians

      By JanSuzanne Krasner

      On February 11th, 2010, I attended the Heritage Foundation’s Discussion and Dinner hosted by the NY Area Committee for Heritage. The two guest speakers at the discussion, Dr. Matthew Spalding and James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. and the featured dinner speaker, John Stossel, all spoke with a heartfelt love of our country and for the principles we stand for. Their message was clear:

      “Now is the time to act worthy and stand up for our country.”

      One thing is certain, the greatness of America is based on our ability to speak fearlessly and fight for our principles. By comparison we see pro-Democracy Iranians rising up against their Totalitarian regime. What a great contrast! The Iranians are dealing with a government that thinks nothing of having them killed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards who think nothing of killing them. Many Americans believe the Iranian struggle is noble and empathize with their fight for freedom and democracy. Many Americans also believe we should be helping the Iranian people. Obama’s ‘talking policy’ has actually emboldened President Ahmadenejad and the Mullahs to ignore negotiations, agreements and sanctions while continuing their uranium enrichment program and silencing the protestors.

      But, Iran’s pro-Democratic movement will not be silenced. There already are signs of a division in the Islamic Republic. We also see Hillary Clinton bravely speaking out against the Regime. Times are brewing for the Iranian Democratic movement to find the cracks in their abusive regime’s power and seize the opportunity to end this destabilizing, military dictatorship. Time is also right for Americans to be outspoken. Two Republican Senators introduced a Bill called “Iran Democratic Transition Act of 2010”. This proposed legislature states that it should be the US policy to support the Iranian people in their efforts to oppose and remove the current regime and replace it with a freely elected Democratic government. It also provides a program for direct, non-military assistance to achieve this goal.

      One of the authors of the Bill, Republican Senator Brownback said, "The biggest problem with Iran is not weapons or terrorism, but the regime itself." This bill can help protect the human rights of the Iranian people in a non-military capacity. It can bring about a transition towards Democracy and can stop the quest for nuclear missiles, all from within Iran. This will free Israel and the US from having to strike at Iran’s development of nuclear missiles. This will stop Iran’s dictators from seeking dominance in the Middle East Region. Therefore, let's show our support to Hillary. And should our President continue with his ‘Mr. Nice Guy’ attitude, it is the duty of Congress to stand up and ‘take actions worthy of our country’… and it is for our principles that ‘We The People’ need to bravely stand up for our country.

    7. Pingback: The President Must Stop Voting “Present” on Iran! « A Nation ADrift-Why?

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×