The Case for ‘Active Neutrality’

Missiles are displayed during the inauguration ceremony of the Nasr 1 cruise missile production facility at an undisclosed location in Iran, on March 7. (Photo by:Vahid Reza Alaei/AFP/Getty Images )

Political experts are flooding Western governments—primarily the United States—with advice on how to deal with Iran’s nuclear threat and the current political uprising. Some, including those on the American right, advocate adopting aggressive economic or even military policies. Others, including many reformers within Iran, advocate total noninterference.

Meanwhile, a broad-based revolutionary movement on the rise within Iran is trying to unseat an increasingly unpopular dictatorial regime. This movement aims to bring the social revolutions of 1905, 1951 and 1979 to a logical conclusion by establishing in Iran an independent democracy under which the attainment of social justice is the main object of socio-economic policies.

Today’s so-called “Islamic Republic,” which is neither Islamic nor a republic, is fundamentally unable to achieve these goals. Eight years of the reformist president Mohammad Khatami, which only strengthened the power of the supreme leader; a gigantic electoral fraud last June; and the subsequent brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrators have proven to the majority of Iranians that the current regime is structurally unable to reform itself. The new nonviolent movement in Iran wants free and honest elections, and a new const… >>>

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