For the past three weeks, tens of thousands of protestors have taken to the streets in Iran once again, demanding democracy and an end to the regime. Popular protests continue to haunt the fundamentalist rulers at a critical time in the region's history. But without offering support to the Iranian people and their main opposition, this critical window of opportunity will be closed, and it will be much harder and too late to deal with the Iranian regime's threat.
For the West, the expression of legitimate demands for freedoms and human rights across the Middle East has meant that the era of choosing tyrannical stability over democracy as a matter of foreign policy has ended.
To alleviate concerns about the role of religious fundamentalism in the region's future, Washington should stop talking to the fundamentalist mullahs and start listening to the Iranian people.
President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have offered encouragement to the protestors. But, if not translated into tangible actions, words and concerns are simply benign.
Washington should stay ahead of the curve in the Middle East and update its policies faster. The Iranian regime's nuclear aggression, suppression at home and terrorist support abroad are outracing US policy.
Appeasement or threat of war are not the only options on Iran. There is a third alternative: supporting democratic change by the Iranian people and their resistance movement.<... >>>
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