Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Is Regime Change In Iran's Future?



By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network


The recent images coming from Iran show a more defiant Green Movement. No longer are the dissidents passively protesting, but they are fighting back - setting fires, turning official vehicles, freeing fellow demonstrators who have been arrested and even beating police officers and militiamen.

In a change in strategy, the Iranian government is more openly reporting on the clashes - perhaps to show that they are becoming more violent in an attempt to discredit the movement.

Both sides have reported fatalities among the demonstrators - though the government has denied that their police officers have been responsible for them.

Now the United States is gearing up to push for more sanctions in the New Year over Tehran's refusal to live up to its promise to send its enriched uranium to Russia. And the White House, which has previously taken a frustratingly cautious approach to its public pronouncements, is showing greater support for the opposition in its pronouncements - urging the Iranian government to use restraint.

Former U.S. UN Ambassador John Bolten has been giving interview in which he says this is not the time for timidity by the Obama administration - this is the time to push for regime change.

Other ex-patriot Iranian observers agree that the climate is right for regime change. Of course, that doesn't account for the fact that - unlike the government - the movement isn't armed. A full resurrection would likely result in far more casualties to the unarmed civilians who have taken to the streets.

Still, there is a perceptible change in the atmosphere in Iran. The people have had it with human rights violations. They've had it with militia on motor scooters beating people in the streets or - worse - shooting them. They've had it with hospitals being ordered to turn away those who come in with broken bones following street confrontations. They've had it with public hangings. And they've had it with moral police arresting people who don't act in accordance with their prescribed religious codes of conduct.

The so-called revolutionary regime is in trouble. Some of the same tactics that it used to overthrow the Shah are being used by their own opponents.

The times, in Iran, are a changing. But what will come next is still unclear.

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