PRESSURE OF THE PEOPLE THREATENS LEADING REGIME IN THE MIDDLE EAST CHALLENGING THE WEST

Fox News on December 31, 2017, Fox News published a commentary on the ongoing protests against the Iranian regime. Excerpts below:

President Trump should take decisive action in 2018 to support the ouster of the virulently anti-American theocracy that has ruled Iran with an iron fist and threatened its neighbors for the past four decades.

The president’s first step should be to throw American support behind the brave anti-government protesters who have taken to the streets in mass demonstrations across the Islamic Republic since [October 28, 2017].

President Trump himself used his Twitter account to condemn the arrest of protesters in Iran, writing…: “Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching!”

The United States should next impose crippling economic sanctions targeting key institutions that act as a lifeline for the Iranian regime, in particular the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. The U.S. should also make it clear that Iran will face serious consequences if protesters are suppressed violently.

As a political gesture, the Trump administration should also formally recognize the Iranian people’s right to regime change and the legitimacy of the organized resistance that is pursuing this goal.
The latest nationwide demonstrations are indicative of fierce discontent and growing frustration with the Iranian regime’s corruption, incompetence and badly misplaced priorities.

With slogans like “Death to the dictator, death to Rouhani,” and “Leave Syria alone; think about us instead,” – referring to Iran’s unpopular military intervention to prop up Syrian dictator Bashar Assad – protestors have demonstrated their frustration with the endemic culture of corruption in Iran.

Slogans targeting the Iranian regime’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, show that resentment is giving way to anger and that the regime is more vulnerable to losing the consent of the governed than many Western analysts may have thought.

Unfortunately, America and its allies have pursued relations with so-called Iranian moderates since long before President Rouhani emerged as a player in contemporary Iranian politics. The result has only been a worsening situation for Western interests and also for the beleaguered people of Iran.

But American officials have put the U.S. relationship with opposition forces at risk time and again by pursuing back channel deals with Iran’s clerical rulers, while ignoring the voices of the Iranian people.

Each new protest against the rulers of Iran represents an opportunity to use the people’s resentment as leverage against the regime.

To its credit, the Trump administration has taken preliminary steps in the right direction by imposing comprehensive sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards, a leading perpetrator of domestic crackdowns and international terrorism.

The opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran and its leading constituent group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK), are mobilized to safeguard the people’s rights in the Islamic Republic.

If the U.S. provides strong support to anti-regime forces in Iran, America will have the opportunity to strike a fatal blow against a dangerous and tyrannical government by leveraging the discontent on the Iranian street and closing ranks with those seeking to topple the regime.

President Trump should follow this course in 2018.

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