Tumult In Tehran
The Islamic Republic of Iran has been rocked the past week by protests across the country. It is hard to get solid information on exactly what is taking place there. Demonstrations have erupted in at least 40 cities. As many as 20 have been killed and 450 have been arrested.
What is happening on the streets of Iran looks a lot like what took place in 2009 during the ill-fated "Green Revolution." But there is a big difference today. Back then, the Obama Administration did not want to alienate the regime. So it did nothing.
Obama stayed silent and, by doing so, he tacitly sided with the ayatollah. His administration did not go to the U.N. to condemn the brutal repression of the Green Movement that took place in 2009.
The Trump/Pence Administration has repeatedly expressed its support for the people of Iran.
Saturday, Vice President Pence tweeted this: "The time has come for the regime in Tehran to end terrorist activities, corruption, & their disregard for human rights."
Sunday President Trump tweeted:
"The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. Looks like they will not take it any longer. The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!"
Monday, he wrote:
"Iran is failing at every level. . . The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom. . . TIME FOR CHANGE!"
And the president kept up the pressure again today, tweeting this morning:
"The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their 'pockets.' The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!"
Surprisingly, the Washington Post editorial board commended the president, writing: "President Trump has been right to tweet his backing for the demonstrators; European leaders, who have been far more cautious, should speak up."
Netanyahu Speaks Up
Like President Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not hesitated to express his support for the Iranian people and to condemn the brutality of the Iranian regime.
In a video last week, Netanyahu blasted the mullahs for their persecution of Christians. Yesterday, he posted another video wishing the Iranian people "success in their noble quest for freedom."
It is tremendously encouraging to see Israel and the United States working together once again to confront Iran's mullahs and promote freedom in the Middle East. It is a stark contrast from the previous administration, which worked to isolate Israel and promote the ayatollah's regime.
Not Everyone Agrees
Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with the Washington Post's view that President Trump is right to speak up. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, Ben Rhodes, the mastermind of the disinformation campaign on the Iranian deal, and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, are all telling President Trump to shut up.
Meanwhile, the silence of other left-wing activists is very telling. Where is Linda Sarsour? Does this award-winning heroine of the left have any interest in defending the rights of Iranian women who don't want to wear the hijab?
Where is the emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council? If 20 people were shot and killed in Gaza or the West Bank, the U.N. would issue repeated condemnations of Israel. Why the silence on Iran?
Reports suggest there is much fear among regime leaders in Tehran. Some suggest that the government has not yet fully played all its cards -- meaning it has yet to call out the Bassij and other Revolutionary Guard forces.
But let me point out the obvious. The Obama Administration negotiated a secret deal with Iran when the regime was still killing our soldiers in Iraq. We sent them cash in the middle of the night. We lifted tough sanctions. Obama said that if we gave them an open hand instead of a clenched fist, it would boost moderates and change Iran's behavior.
It has not. This is one of the most brutal and repressive regimes on earth. It defines its existence based on radical Islamist rules.
The whole purpose of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to export its revolution in order to prepare the world for the arrival of the Shiite messiah. That is what the ayatollah's regime is all about. If it ceases to be that, it will collapse.
This is an existential moment for the ayatollah and Iran's mullahs. They will not go quietly.
There are headlines on the domestic front that deserve attention. Here's a brief summary.
- There is mounting evidence that Russian intelligence officials likely gained access to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails. The Daily Caller reports that Clinton confidante Huma Abedin used an unsecured personal Yahoo account for much of her official State Department work. The Daily Caller also noted that the U.S. indicted "Russian intelligence agent Igor Sushchin with hacking 500 million Yahoo email accounts."
- The congressional investigation into alleged Deep State "conspiracy and corruption" is gaining momentum. House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is turning up the heat on the Department of Justice and the FBI for deliberately stonewalling and misleading Congress about its use of the Trump/Russia dossier.
- Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News that he wants a second special prosecutor appointed to investigate the Justice Department's handling of the dossier. In a cryptic comment, Graham strongly suggested the Obama Justice Department likely misled the FISA court when it used the dossier to justify secret warrants of Trump associates.
Meanwhile, the narrative about the origins of the government's investigation of Trump keeps changing. The New York Times reports that top Australian diplomats are also key figures in the scandal. They are involved due to "a night of boozy blather in London" featuring George Papadopoulos, a low-level Trump campaign adviser. As former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy put it, "We're onto Collusion 2.0."