Iran protests: Here is what the US should do now

Anti-government demonstrations that erupted Thursday and have since spread across Iran represent the most serious challenge to the theocracy that has ruled the nation since seizing power in the 1979 revolution.

The U.S. government needs to support the protests with actions to put pressure on the repressive forces of the Iranian government. Such actions should include:

  • Most importantly, starting to build a relationship with the organized opposition that is seeking a free, secular, democratic and non-nuclear republic in Iran.
  • Calling for an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council to take steps to protect the protesters. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley announced Tuesday that she would do this in the days ahead. The U.N. has no time to waste to take meaningful steps in favor of the Iranian people who are crying out for freedom.
  • Ensuring that communications and internet access are available to the Iranian people so that the protesters can communicate among themselves and get their message to the outside world.
  • Adding top Iranian officials to the list of human rights violators we are sanctioning personally.
  • Imposing new sanctions on the various entities of the Iranian regime for their increased censorship.

The demonstrators are rejecting the Islamist regime that rules Iran in its entirety, dismissing both the “hard liners” as well as the “reformers.” Iranians are chanting

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