Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The ayatollah who said no

As this article in The New Republic puts it, Ayatollah Hosseinali Montazeri, the Iranian dissident cleric whose funeral was the occasion for further anti-regime demonstrations, "recently issued a fatwa saying more clearly and more categorically than any other ayatollah that the development, deployment, or investment towards acquiring a nuclear bomb is against Islam and humanity--making him the most prominent domestic opponent of a nuclear bomb. He openly apologized for the fact that the regime, while he was a leading member of it, sanctioned the occupation of the American embassy in Tehran."

What a tremendous opportunity we're passing up. Just think: the U.S. government could be trying to connect with Iranians who want to get along with the outside world rather than threaten it.


psydneyh said...

I think it is better if we keep quiet and let the Iranians rebel. If we intervene, the existing powers will rally against "American imperialism".

Leslie Lebl said...

Ah, but they already are! The Iranian government has already accused us of all kinds of evil deeds. When there's a mass protest movement made up of young people (the country's future) asking the United States if it is siding with them or the regime, I think we're nuts to remain silent and let the answer be 'the regime.' I don't mean to suggest that we actually intervene - there I would agree with you - just that what we say in public should not favor the regime. Up to now, it has. Added to our cutting off the funds for a key human rights NGO, it's an ugly picture.