Roger Cohen on doing nothing on Iran

Monday, December 21, 2009

Roger Cohen wrote another good op-ed two days ago that you can read here, about doing nothing with Iran (the best policy). The best part of the op-ed is the bit about just where the stick (as in, the stick present in a carrot-and-stick policy) would be in this policy. The answer is easy:

So would sanctions action from the so called “P5+1” — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. When I’m asked where the “stick” is in Iran, my response is the stick is Iranian society — the bubbling reformist pressure now rising up from Iran’s highly educated youth and brave women.
 In many other countries this sort of internal opposition simply doesn't exist in the first place, but it certainly does in Iran. The current government in Iran is seemingly attempting to walk a tightrope between two policies (trying to appease hardliners and opposition at the same time) that is pleasing none. The crackdown isn't nearly harsh enough for hardliners that would dearly love to see Mousavi and Karroubi arrested, and there's certainly no reason for the opposition to be pleased with a government that cuts off internet and media access at a moment's notice, and jails and beats people for no reason. Nobody has been happy for six months now and counting.

Grand Ayatollah Montazeri's funeral starts in a bit over three hours from now.


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