Buy My Book Here

Fox News Ticker

Please check out my new books, "Bullied to Death: Chris Mackney's Kafkaesque Divorce and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the World's Last Custody Trial"

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Regime Change: the New "Realism" in Iran

That doesn't even come from me. That comes from this Oped in the Washington Post.

Still, by now it ought to be clear that the best chance to protect what Mr. Obama calls "core U.S. security interests" lies in a victory for the Iranian opposition. That may look unlikely for now. But it is considerably more probable than a turn toward detente by those now engaged in murdering young women. There may not be much that can be done to help the opposition, though some tangible steps -- more money for broadcasting into the country, for example -- are readily available. But at the least, nothing should be done that would harm the cause of change. That is not just the moral course; it is the most pragmatic and realistic.

I believe that the riots, mass murder, and tyrannical squashing of free speech in the aftermath of the rigged elections proved that the only policy with a country like Iran, as well as North Korea, is regime change. The article believes that events mean that the new policy must be regime change. Either way, we've arrived in the same place.

The key now is isolation. The first thing that should happen is that several countries should immediately dismiss Iranian ambassadors from embassies in their countries. This strategy is very dangerous because often Iranian protestors use foreign embassies to get treated for injuries. That's because secret police scour the hospitals and arrest those that have injuries consistent with those they themselves have inflicted. If foreign countries expel diplomats, it's only a matter of time before Iran does the same.

Still, there is no better very easy way to isolate a country than to have allies get together and expel diplomats. If Iranians have foreign policy contacts with only Syria, Russia, China, and Venezuela, it's only a matter of time before the regime loses totally legitimacy and falls.

The main weapon must be economic. Right now, the regime uses technology from Siemens to be able to spy on citizens that attempt to inform the world of what's going on. Siemens does business all over the world, including here in the States. That company must make a choice: do business in the world or in Iran. Any company that helps the regime put down its citizens is one that can't do business in the rest of the world.

Iran would fall quickly if it was totally isolated economically. That won't happen because no matter what Russia and China would support it, but those two nations, on their own, aren't enough. If the Western world united so that all major companies had to choose: do business in Iran or the rest of the world, the regime would fall fairly quickly. Of course, this is mostly wishful thinking. We can't even seem to get most of America to sign on to something like this. The rest of the world is a lost hope. Still President Obama could have an effect immediately by divesting all federal funds from any company still doing business in Iran, in any way (be it through foreign subsidiaries or normally) He could encourage state governments to do the same in private conversations.

At some point, the President would need to get countries like Germany, France and England on board. If NATO, for instance, stood united in calling for regime change that would be nearly a death blow if it was combined with the other steps.

What should be clear is that, given what's happened, President Obama must adjust his policy toward Iran in a significant way.


Anonymous said...

We already have the Iran Sanctions Act banning companies that do business with Iran from doing business here. But how many of those companies do you think have armies of lobbyists getting exemptions for their clients?

As far as Siemens is concerned, I find it odd because Siemens was the company that was building their nuclear reactor at Bushehr in the first place but left it unfinished after the revolution. An Iraqi airstrike destroyed it and it was the russians who rebuilt it.

mike volpe said...

many of these companies use foreign subsidiaries, GE is a great example. I was speaking more of having pension funds and other investment groups back out of any company that continues to do business in Iran.

I believe it's Siemens that supplies Iran with the technology that allows the government to spy on its citizenry.