October 2, 2022 | The Wall Street Journal

Biden’s Chance to Restore American Dignity in Iran

If the hijab falls, so does the theocracy, and aligning the U.S. behind the rebels gives them a chance.
October 2, 2022 | The Wall Street Journal

Biden’s Chance to Restore American Dignity in Iran

If the hijab falls, so does the theocracy, and aligning the U.S. behind the rebels gives them a chance.

Excerpt

The Islamic Republic’s impasse has once more exploded in the streets. The triggering event was the killing of Mahsa Amini by Iran’s morality police last month. But the tension—the rot in the Islamic system depressing the country—lies much deeper. For the clerical regime, it’s an insoluble predicament.

Among the casualties of this uprising may be the White House’s desperate quest to restore Barack Obama’s nuclear deal. Even before the streets erupted, Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, wasn’t biting at the new agreement proffered in Vienna this summer. When beset by regime-shaking domestic discontent, Iran’s theocracy tends to scorn diplomatic mediation. Repression at home produces truculence abroad.

One of the persistent problems with American policy toward Iran has been mirror-imaging. The Islamic Republic’s foreign minister, Hussein Amir-Abdollahian, revealed that Tehran had received word from the Biden administration, after the protests had started, that it remains committed to reviving the nuclear deal—that the “will and goodwill” to do so remain.

Mr. Gerecht is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Mr. Takeyh is a senior fellow at Council on Foreign Relations. Follow Reuel on Twitter @ReuelMGerecht. FDD is a Washington, DC-based, nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.

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Issues:

Iran Iran Human Rights Iran Politics and Economy