Combine Iran’s post-election turmoil with the controversy over the nation’s nuclear advances, and few Americans are likely to be unsympathetic toward the opposition movement there. Some bloggers have even suggested that the reformist-led protests are inspired by the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. Several commentators have referred to the wave of anti-theocracy rallies as Iran’s "civil rights movement, perhaps implying that the social conservatives who rule the country resemble Mississippi fundamentalists.
"Iran is now on the verge of an Orange-style Revolution." This statement is likely to elicit enthusiasm from those working tirelessly to promote democracy in Iran.
As the Islamic Republic of Iran veers closer to outright insurrection and the competing factions of Mir Hossain Mousavi and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei engage in a game of high-stakes political brinksmanship, should the United States play a more active role in Iranian affairs? Those in power must chart a careful course, for the same thorny question toppled the legacy of another Democratic president 30 years ago.
Three days after the presidential elections in Iran and over 48 hours after violent clashes between crowds and security forces across Tehran, it’s evident that what happened was a coup d’état. The military-security establishment and certain elements in Iran’s clerical nomenclature carefully planned a large-scale manipulation of the election. They were evidently prepared for the riots and protest that followed. Anticipating a high voter turnout and victory for reformist challenger Mir-Hossein Mousavi, security forces blatantly took control of the entire election process and virtually declared martial law in Tehran.