The U.S. and the EU Should Support Iranians’ Demands for Freedom

As the Islamic Republic continues its brutal crackdown on its own people—not to mention its material support for Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine—Americans and Europeans should position themselves on the side of freedom. Doing so is no luxury, argue Elliott Abrams and David J. Kramer, but instead a tool of American statecraft:

The way regimes treat their own people is often indicative of how they will act beyond their borders—and the regime in Tehran has abused the fundamental human rights of Iranians since coming to power in 1979. . . . Neither Washington nor Brussels should let faint hopes of a new nuclear agreement get in the way of a proper and needed response. While Iran is supplying deadly weapons to Putin to use against Ukrainian civilians and that nation’s infrastructure, a nuclear agreement that would enrich Iran’s leaders with tens of billions of dollars in new revenue would reward such behavior.

For the last few decades, human rights issues in Iran have taken a back seat to nuclear and other “realpolitik” arguments. Support for the Iranian people was often viewed as a marginal issue—one that might interfere with far more serious concerns. During the Green Movement protests of 2009, the United States remained passive, leading demonstrators to hold up signs, in English, asking which side we were on. Former President Obama recently called his reaction at the time “a mistake.”

Indeed, it was. Nothing about Iran can be more “serious” than the Iranian people’s desire to rid themselves of their repressive regime. Moreover, compromises with the regime cannot resolve the dangers from Iran’s nuclear program, its support for terrorism, and, most recently, its military support for Putin.

We should not leave today’s protestors in any doubt that we stand with them against their brutal oppressors. . . . This means the United States should be seeking all practical and peaceful means of helping the Iranian people. . . . The goals of U.S. foreign policy in Iran will only be achieved when that hated regime is replaced by a government that reflects the Iranian people’s desire for peace, freedom, and prosperity.

Read more at The Hill

More about: Human Rights, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy


Using the Power of the Law to Fight Anti-Semitism

Examining carefully the problem of anti-Semitism, and sympathy with jihadists, at American universities, Danielle Pletka addresses the very difficult problem of what can be done about it. Pletka avoids such simplistic answers as calling for more education and turns instead to a more promising tool: law. The complex networks of organizations funding and helping to organize campus protests are often connected to malicious states like Qatar, and to U.S.-designated terrorist groups. Thus, without broaching complex questions of freedom of speech, state and federal governments already have ample justifications to crack down. Pletka also suggests various ways existing legal frameworks can be strengthened.

And that’s not all:

What is Congress’s ultimate leverage? Federal funding. Institutions of higher education in the United States will receive north of $200 billion from the federal government in 2024.

[In addition], it is critical to understand that foreign funders have been allowed, more or less, to turn U.S. institutions of higher education into political fiefdoms, with their leaders and faculty serving as spokesmen for foreign interests. Under U.S. law currently, those who enter into contracts or receive funding to advocate for the interest of a foreign government are required to register with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This requirement is embedded in a criminal statute, and a violation risks jail time. There is no reason compliance by American educational institutions with disclosure laws should not be subject to similar criminal penalties.

Read more at Commentary

More about: American law, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus