October 16, 2010
The best way to avoid a nuclear showdown with Tehran is to support its democratic opposition and human rights, agues Emanuele Ottolenghi:
The recent decision by the Obama administration to sanction some of the Iranian regime’s worst human-rights abusers is a welcome if belated step in the right direction. But it falls far short of what could be done on this front to further isolate Tehran. The European Union, meanwhile, hasn’t even decided yet whether to consider at all human rights sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
This failure is nothing short of astonishing. Apart from the obvious moral reasons for supporting human rights in Iran, such a policy would undermine the regime and thus help the West in its nuclear standoff with Tehran. Iran’s illicit atomic program is a danger principally because of the regime’s aggressive nature. If the opposition were to topple the revolutionary Islamist leaders, Iran’s nuclear project would be instantly less threatening. Regime change is the best way to avoid a showdown with Tehran.