July 3, 2006


Ex-student Hailed as Iran's Hope (Toby Harnden, 7/02/06, Daily Telegraph)

An Iranian student leader who was imprisoned and tortured before fleeing to the United States in May is to meet Vice-President Dick Cheney and deliver his message about the need for "regime change" in Teheran.

Amir Abbas Fakhravar, 30, has become the poster child of some of the leading neo-conservatives in Washington and, less than two months after leaving Iran, the former medical student who spent five years in jail and still bears the scars on his youthful face, is being championed as the person who can unite his country's fractious opposition. [...]

Mr Fakhravar's most prominent sponsor is Richard Perle, a former Reagan administration official who later served as chairman of the Pentagon's defence policy board.

Mr Perle was among figures who once hailed Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi National Congress, as the natural successor to Saddam Hussein.

The main lesson of Iraq is to stand up a replacement government ahead of time that has the approval of moderate ayatollahs and a plan for transferring powers to a democratically elected successor regime. Until Mr. Perle has all that in place the ball's in his court.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 3, 2006 8:21 PM
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