It's time for U.S. to consider targeting Iran's gas imports
Washingtn Post / Editorial

THURSDAY'S EVENTS in Iran looked like a defeat for the opposition green movement -- and for the cause of stopping the regime's nuclear weapons program. A massive deployment of force and an information blockade that included the interruption of the telephone system and satellite broadcasts appeared to prevent large opposition crowds from gathering on the anniversary of the 1979 revolution. The government, meanwhile, assembled a large audience for one of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's boasting rants.

The green movement is far from dead; its long-term triumph remains more likely than not. But if the regime of Mr. Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gains confidence from the week's events, it will be even less likely to respond to Western offers of a deal to end its race for a bomb. Instead it will press ahead with provocations, like the stepped-up enrichment of uranium that Mr. Ahmadinejad bragged of. That means the Obama administration will need to look for new ways to push back.

The administration has take some important steps in recent days. The Treasury Department brought new U.S. sanctions against companies and individuals associated with the Revolutionary Guard, and administration spokesmen have continued to speak out forcefully against the regime's abuses. But more should be done to help the opposition. For example, the Internet and satellite television blockages might be overcome with more U.S. support for private groups working to counter the regim... >>>

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