After a year of stalled negotiations which have demonstrated the intransigence of the Iranian regime, the Obama administration is now attempting to unite the international community behind sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
The IAEA announcement that Iran may be working towards a nuclear warhead plays into growing international concerns that Iran is becoming a military dictatorship, with the influence of the Revolutionary Guards eclipsing that of the clergy.
The Obama administration, thwarted in its attempts to engage Iran in serious negotiations on its nuclear ambitions, must now unite the international community behind targeted sanctions that will refrain from undermining Iran’s opposition movement.
The Obama administration must carefully balance its attempts to engage Iran on its nuclear program, Iraq, and Afghanistan with its need to support the Iranian opposition.
Over the past decade, the political and economic influence of the Revolutionary Guard has eclipsed that of the clergy. The Obama administration’s call for new, targeted sanctions would target the Revolutionary Guard without undermining Iran’s opposition movement.
The 31st anniversary of the establishment of the Islamic Republic will provide another opportunity for demonstrations by the Iranian opposition movement, which must overcome not only the violent repression of the regime, but also divisions within its own ranks, if it is to achieve significant change in Iran.
As the Iranian regime continues to crackdown on the opposition movement, the Obama administration must consider how to deal with the looming Iranian nuclear threat without turning its back on the Iranian opposition.
President Obama has the opportunity to make the world a dramatically safer place by helping the Iranian people achieve a new form of government. A regime change in Tehran would be the best nonproliferation policy.
The Obama administration’s deadline for Iran to enter discussions on the nuclear issue has passed. In spite of claims from Washington that “all options are on the table,” the economic crisis makes a military response to Iran infeasible.
As thousands of Iranians continue to take to the streets in protest, President Obama is presented with an opportunity to help support transformational democratic change within Iran.