Pivotal day in Iran
Thursday marks the 31st anniversary of the coalescing of Iran’s Islamist revolution. But on this deeply symbolic day, which Tehran usually spends glorifying its militant, tyrannical rule, millions of Iranian citizens will likely attempt another show of mass defiance and repudiation of the regime.
That’s precisely what Tehran fears. It fears having its veneer of popular endorsement torn away altogether. Witness its preemptive crack down. Critics and student activists have been rounded up and tossed in prison. Earlier this month, to build up the intimidation factor, the regime began executing dissidents. The IranTracker project is compiling a record of Tehran’s intimidation tactics in the run-up to the day. The list is horrifyingly long.
People in Iran have taken to the streets to protest before — notably after the elections of June — but an attempt to voice disapproval of the regime on Feb. 11 is particularly significant. It makes their rebuke of the regime all the more pointed.
And in protesting, many will be risking their lives to expose and oppose some of the evils of the regime that lords over them. We should encourage and support them (as I’ve argued before), and hope for their success in weakening, and ideally imploding, a regime that is hostile to America. Yet our leaders in Washington spend their time concocting myths about how the Iranian regime may, possibly have peaceable intentions for its nuclear program — despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary; how, if we’re kinder and gentler toward the regime, we could become friends — despite decades of anti-American violence directed by Iran.
Countless Iranians have shown that they recognize the evils — at least some of the evils — of their regime. Isn’t it past time for our leaders to face up to the truly malignant nature of the regime and its campaign for subjugation under the Islamist banner?