April 16, 2015


Why I Like The Iran Deal (Sort Of) : The former joint chiefs chairman thinks it's the only way to change the regime. (ADM. MIKE MULLEN (RET.) April 16, 2015, Politico)

[T]he real significance of this agreement is broader. If successful, it portends historic opportunities for change, not only in Iran but in the Middle East as a whole.

Let's talk about Iran first. In the West, we tend to see that country as monolithic. It is not. An epic struggle is underway for Iran's soul. While there is consensus among the leadership of that country and some of its population about the importance of an Islamic republic, visions about what exactly that implies or how best to ensure its success differ. Hardliners or so-called "Principalists" see such a theocracy as an exemplar and catalyst for regional hegemony-for a return to empire of sorts, or at least increasing Shi'a dominance.  Reformists, on the other hand, see it leading Iran back into the community of nations, still a strong nation, but more responsible regionally and more responsive to the needs of its people.

And then there are the Iranian people themselves--the median age is only 28--many largely open to the West and hungry to be reconnected to the world. Theirs is a generation not driven solely by religion, but rather by soaring unemployment, unfulfilled economic opportunities and mounting frustration with the social and moral shackles placed on them by Tehran. They are proud to be sure, and will not blithely sacrifice what they rightly believe are attributes of Iranian sovereignty, such as a peaceful nuclear capability.  But so too are they pragmatists, eager for reform and reengagement.   As one young woman put it, "I pray that my children will be able to live in an Iran that can play nice with the international community."

Posted by at April 16, 2015 7:33 PM

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