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Vibrant Youth Real Challenge to Iran's Entrenched Leadership

Image: Vibrant Youth Real Challenge to Iran's Entrenched Leadership

In Isfahan, Iran, people (many of them young) are seen picnicking outdoors on lawns near Si-o-Se-pol bridge during the Iranian festival Sizdah Bedar, or Nature`s Day. This is an occasion marking the end of the Nowruz holidays. (Dreamstime)

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Thursday, 09 August 2018 11:29 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Summertime in Iran. It's hot, and it's traditionally a time ripe for strife. It's also a good time for a revolution; a good time to stage a coup against the powers that be in that country.

On Aug. 19, 1953, the CIA sponsored a coup that took down Iran's democratically elected prime minister, Mohammed Masaddegh, and supported the shah of Iran.

Ostensibly, the 1953 coup centered upon the desire of Western countries, led by the U.S. to maintain control of Iran's oil reserves.

In reality it was about much more.

Newly opened CIA files have shed light on exactly how intricately involved the U.S. was in toppling the standing government and bringing in the shah.

Fast forward 65 years and, once again, this time by snapping sanctions back on, America is disrupting life in Iran. The excuse for re-instituting the sanctions is Iran's nuclear policy and the "horrible" nuclear agreement.

The White House is convinced that Iran is not living up to their end of the deal. And the agreement was really only a "sunset deal" which means the conditions would simply expire — or set over the horizon — over time.

That was unacceptable to the current U.S. administration.

But there is a greater goal to the sanctions. A nobler goal.

A goal that, if effective, will have a lasting, life changing, impact on Iran and on Iranians themselves. Topple the regime! Iran's nuclear activities are simply a symptom of Iranian leadership's style — their modus operandi.

Nuclear weapons are a tool, a vehicle to utilize power and garner influence. And then, in a secondary role, they are weapons of force and intimidation against Iran's enemies. If nuclear weapons are the symptom, the real problem, aka the disease, is present-day Iranian leadership.

Life is hard in Iran, especially during the summer of 2018. The temperatures reach over 110 degrees Fahrenheit daily. There is a drought; that drought has affected agriculture and food supplies. It has also impacted and greatly reduced the drinking water supply.

The employment situation in Iran was bad before the drought and the sanctions. With these added factors the potential job market for Iranian's coming of age is dismal. The result is despair and depression. Young Iranians have nowhere to turn for relief — literally and figuratively — from the burden they are forced to bear because of the decisions their leaders have made.

When you are running out of options, even and perhaps especially in a totalitarian religious state, the option that seems most rewarding is to revolt. Iran has a culture of protests, but there is an established set of rules regarding critique of the leadership with such protests.

Violating the rules, which include calling for change, can bring down the powerful force of the police, landing you in prison. That rule also includes calls for change and revolt via the closely monitored Internet.

Given the combination of factors now in play in Iran, the U.S. inspired sanctions may be the nudge Iranian youth have been craving for, the stimulus that will propel them towards a revolution that will oust their religious leadership. Over the weekend, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said that the goal of the sanctions "was not regime change" but then he explained that changing the behavior of the regime would be a good byproduct of the sanctions.

On Fox News he also recently said, "But we definitely want to put pressure on the government, and it's not just to come back to discuss fixing a deal that's basically not fixable . . . We want to see a much broader retreat by Iran from their support for international terrorism, their belligerent activity in the Middle East and their ballistic missile nuclear-related program."

And the revolt is beginning to take shape. Iranians have taken to the streets by the thousands in defiance of Iranian law. They are marching and they are protesting against their government. They are shouting "Death of Freedom!" and "Death to high prices. Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid. We are all together. Honorable Iranians, support, support."

A Fox News video quoted one Iranian saying, "How dare the regime send money to Hezbollah and Palestine when the country is in trouble." Another person is quoted as saying, "Our revolutions was not to support dirty (Hezbollah leader) Hassan Nasrallah while we are oppressed here. Enough!"

Iranians, especially young Iranians, are challenging the religious regime. They are much too young to remember life under the shah. But they are old enough to realize that the life they know is not the life they want.

Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. To read more of this reports — Click Here Now.

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Iranians, especially young Iranians, are challenging the religious regime. They are much too young to remember life under the shah. But they are old enough to realize that the life they know is not the life they want.
cia, hezbollah, masaddegh, mohammed
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2018-29-09
Thursday, 09 August 2018 11:29 AM
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