To Meddle or Not to Meddle in Iran

Here is my Op-Ed in Today’s El Diario La Prensa. Read the full article in Spanish here El Diario La Prensa.

The post election results were a catalyst to a predictable backlash against a repressive and controlling regime. The people themselves are demanding freedom and democracy. They are taking the risks. The last thing they need is U.S. meddling.

Iran’s major complaint with America is that it continually intervenes. In 1953, the U.S. deposed democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammed Mossadegh. Iranians have never forgotten this nor have they forgotten their frozen assets and continued economic sanctions imposed by the U.S.
It is heart wrenching to watch the gruesome depiction of events. Nevertheless, Obama is on track. He must stand firm and not bow to Congressional pressure. Even if he wanted to intervene, what would, should or could the U.S. do?

If Congress wants to promote ‘values’ they should be more vocal on Darfur, Peru, or Gaza, places where people cannot help themselves. This fight belongs to Iranians. Treading lightly yet purposefully outweighs vociferous rhetoric. Any change in Iran will only be legitimate if it comes form, not Americans, but Iranians themselves.

Patricia DeGennaro is Assistant Professor of Global Affairs at New York University where she teaches courses on US Foreign Policy, International Security and Terrorism. Here regions of expertise include the Middle East and South Asia.

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