The American presidential campaign is over and Americans have elected a president who will have to face many challenges inside and outside the U.S. How to tackle the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear ambitions was a recurrent theme in the campaign, but the candidates did not offer solutions that could have a long-lasting impact on the now three-decade-old tension between the two countries.
Both candidates showed determination to prevent a nuclear Iran, including by military action. Neither of them however, wondered publicly whether the Iranian people, who have the most at stake in case of war, approve of Iran's leadership's policies? How could such a crucial factor not be relevant to any discussion regarding Iran and its mostly unelected decision makers?
To make a difference, the future American president should challenge Iran's leaders with a well-articulated human rights agenda, a consistent multilateral policy containing clear demands and landmarks aimed at opening a space for Iranian citizens to express themselves.
The truth is that no one really knows whether Iran's silent majority approves of the government's policies, including its nuclear ambitions or not. Censorship and a swift and arbitrary justice prevent accurate opinion polls in Iran. Iranians have no access to the foreign media and policy maker, and are not actively present on the web. Further, a flurry of laws, rules and regulations severely hamper citizens' right to express views dee... >>>
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