Posted: Monday, May 2, 2007
Publication Date: May 2, 2007
That all options remain on the table is reality; it has nothing to do with regime change. So long as the Islamic Republic remains the world's greatest sponsor of terrorism and is not forthright about its nuclear program, military action will remain a last resort--one with so many incumbent costs that hopefully it will never occur. The idea that there is a preventive war strategy to change the regime is at best a straw-man argument and at worst a conspiracy theory.
Criticism regarding carrier group dispatch is misplaced. First, it is important that Arab states in the Persian Gulf recognize that the
With regard to engagement, we need to abandon the notion that long-term strategies to encourage the accountability of the Iranian government to its citizenry and short-term diplomacy are mutually exclusive. Providing moral support for the Vahed transportation workers' ongoing attempts to form the Islamic Republic's first independent trade union will not bring instant change. That does not mean it is wise to ignore them or to collude with the regime that seeks to crush them.
No argument that assistance--when handled improperly--can taint dissidents. But let's not be ahistorical:
Past practice shows that a strategy of speaking softly and waving a big carrot does not work with
Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at AEI.
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