Iran? “We need a new paradigm,” writes Abbas Milani

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He fights for democracy in Iran (Photo: L.A. Cicero)

In a friendly chat with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who is trying to drum up support for his leadership,  Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, offered these words of wisdom:

“The Iraqi nation is vigilant and aggressors cannot dominate this country again,” Mr Khamenei told Mr Maliki, according to a statement put out by his office. “May God get rid of America in Iraq so that its people’s problems are solved.”

Solved for which people? I doubt it will improve much for women, if Iran is to be held as a role model:  Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani‘s former lawyer said, after he legged it to Norway, “In Iran, unfortunately, one could say women are in a real situation of slavery.”

So much remains to be “solved” — her fate, and the fate of others like her.  And nukes.  And “fuel swaps,” and … and…and… Will any of it work?  This, from Abbas Milani‘s new book, The Myth of the Great Satan:

“Of the many problems plaguing U.S.-Iranian relations in the last thirty years, the most elemental problem is the one most easily overlooked or ignored: the United States plays by the normal rules and logic of diplomacy while the clerical regime plays by its own idiosyncratic rules.  Trying to deal with the regime only through traditional channels of diplomacy is akin to fighting an agile terrorist insurgency with the ponderous might of a regular army.  While it is clear that there is no military solution to America’s ‘Iran problem,’ it is no less clear that a new paradigm, equipped to counter the Iranian regime’s self-serving rules of conduct, needs to be developed.  The Iranian regime’s agility is rooted in its despotism; the ponderous pace of American policy is the price society pays for democracy.  The challenge is to match Iran’s agility without sacrificing the principles of democracy.”

Milani writes that a number of factors have resulted in a “diplomatic disparity between the regime, with its double talk and outright lies, and the United States, trying to play by the traditional rules of diplomacy.  Tagiyeh, a Shiite concept allowing the faithful to lie in the service of faith, provides clerical leaders with a theological cover for their lies and obfuscation.”

We’ve written about Milani before here and here — and did a Q&A with him a while back here.  He is a relentless advocate for Iran’s Green Revolution, and says the solution to our problems is to back democracy in Iran.


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One Response to “Iran? “We need a new paradigm,” writes Abbas Milani”

  1. Collette Lurington Says:

    I believe Iran is trying to get nuclear technology to overpower its neighbours in the region. They are not going to attack Isral or the USA. They just want to control the region. Those who control the region controls a great part of the world if it concerns the oil industry.

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