October 10, 2014 | Quote
Column One: Bringing Happiness to Iran
Dr. Michael Ledeen, Freedom Scholar at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies has been closely following the Iranian regime since he served in the Reagan administration in the 1980s. In 2009, he argued that even without US assistance, if Israel had been willing to help the Green Movement, with little effort, it could have empowered the opposition sufficiently to overthrow the regime.
In a conversation this week, Ledeen said Israel still has the capacity to provide opposition forces the tools they require to overthrow the regime.
Today, with Khamenei reportedly seriously ill, the widespread assessment is that Iran is already in the throes of a succession crisis. As Ledeen sees it, radical ayatollahs are vying with the IRGC and Khamenei’s family to succeed him. President Hassan Rouhani is also seeking to ascend to Khamenei’s all powerful throne.
Ledeen claims that an Israeli campaign to highlight the suffering of Iranian political prisoners and dissidents that would include constant public condemnations of the regime, calls for the release of political prisoners, and support for greater freedom, particularly for women would have a major impact both globally and in Iran.
“Opponents of the regime are always accused of being in cahoots with Israel and the US, so getting support doesn’t change their risk, and in fact will strengthen them… The opposition is probably amazed they are not getting help from Israel.”
Ledeen’s policy involves a program of nonviolent, open Israeli political and financial support for regime opponents.