ISIS Iran Report

Beware the neocon agenda for Iran

Beware the neocon agenda for Iran photo

June 22, 2009

This is a complicated time for Iran watchers and analysts, in particular in the United States.  There is the impulse to support the uprising in Tehran while at the same time urging official Washington to do and say nothing that would insert the United States and its political baggage into the momentum of this transformational moment.  As the Iranian government response to protesters grows more violent there are more insistent calls on President Obama to protest more loudly.  Thus far, President Obama has walked a fine line, condemning violence and expressing carefully worded support for protesters.

In another corner, the political commentary has taken on almost gleeful tone, and this is troubling to ISIS.  The we-told-you-so, Iran-is-never-to-be-trusted crowd (two Wall Street Journal opinion pieces, here, here and here, capture this tone) is calling for decisive U.S. support for the uprising in the misguided belief that regime change could finally be at hand, but for a nudge from the United States, and that Iran’s current leadership is incapable of diplomatic engagement.

We don’t know what Iran’s level of support for diplomatic talks with the United States over the nuclear program (or other issues) will be or even who will be speaking for the government of Iran in several months time.  We do know that a lasting, military solution to Iran’s nuclear program is not realistic.  This leaves diplomacy as the best route to bring about a suspension of Iran’s uranium enrichment program, regardless of who holds Iran’s presidency.

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