Iran's Soft War
Foreign Policy / P. J. Dobriyanski, C. P. Whiton
28-Nov-2009 (one comment)

Iran's government has used violence, intimidation, and incarceration to keep the country's opposition at bay since the flawed election there last June. Now, the news trickling out of Tehran this week suggests that a more sophisticated ideological effort is underway -- the "soft war" reported in the New York Times. This goes further than closing opposition news outlets and now reportedly includes placing Basij militia instructors in elementary schools, more media controlled by the country's Revolutionary Guard, and expanded surveillance of the Internet.

Iran's leaders claim they are facing nothing less than a Western-directed "color revolution," just as Russia's allies did in Ukraine, where the Orange Revolution of 2004 and 2005 swept the streets with democratic fervor. But the Orange Revolution was a genuine expression of popular anger, not a plot orchestrated from Washington or Brussels. It was however, aided by diplomacy. Western diplomats can draw on experience learned in Kiev to help the "green movement" in Tehran. The United States and particularly Europe should be doing much more to engage and cultivate this newly vocal "other Iran," sustaining its calls for a democratically chosen government.

Majid Zahrai

Negotiating with Khamenei?! I don't think so!

by Majid Zahrai on

Do these people get paid for coming up with these ideas?!!  I wish "analysts" knew IRI leaders a little better after 30 years.