Democracy Arsenal

« You're a funny man, John McCain | Main | President Obama Must Take the Lead on Climate Finance »

October 30, 2009

Robert Kagan and Regime Change in Iran
Posted by David Shorr

I've started posting on TPM Cafe as a regular blogger, with this post in response to Bob Kagan's WaPo op-ed yesterday. But there's more to say about the following passage at the end of Bob's piece:

The worst of it is that the Tehran regime is now desperately trying to buy time so it can regain full control of the country in the face of widespread anger after the fraudulent presidential elections in June and a still-vibrant Iranian opposition. For the clerics, an endless negotiating process is not merely a means of putting off any real concessions on its nuclear program. It is also, and more important, a way of putting off any Western sanctions that could produce new and potentially explosive unrest in their already unstable country.

To put it mildly, mixing the issues of the nuclear program and Iran's political turmoil is not helpful. In my other post I've already highlighted the distinction between holding off from seeking new sanctions and "an endless negotiating process." Now I want to stress the need to choose between two mutually exclusive policy goals: stopping Iran from getting the bomb or regime change. You simply can't pursue both at the same time.

The expression of people power after the June election fiasco was truly inspiring, and greater openness of the Islamic Republic is a thing to be hoped for. But apart from the problem of Iranian hard-liners exploiting any American involvement as a convenient excuse for their own repressive acts, there is a direct and inevitable trade-off between reaching a nuclear deal and holding out for different leaders. As a practical matter of domestic political reality, the turmoil could very likely push Iranian leaders to resolve the nuclear issue, but regardless of our sympathies, such politics is among the Iranians.

Just think about it. If you lead the Iranian government to believe that the United States' real objective is to remove them from power, won't they have good reason to doubt that cooperation on the nuclear program would earn them any benefit? What incentive is there to make a deal? And is Bob Kagan really saying that "potentially explosive unrest in [an] already unstable country" is a good thing?


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Robert Kagan and Regime Change in Iran:


Cheap ugg bailey button boots online sale,£89 only,UK Free Shipping!ugg bailey button,bailey button uggs,bailey button uggs

This approach had always been a key element of a "grand bargain" with Iran. The United States had to provide some guarantee to the regime that it would no longer support opposition forces or in any way seek its removal.

Find Original Bose Headphones sale at,Bose In Ear,Discount Bose Headphones with Top Quality!up to 40%-50% Off,Fast Delivery!

Thank you for your sharing.! seslichat seslisohbet

This is very beauty article, I like it, thank you!
Don't try so hard, the best things come when you least expect them to.
Don't waste your time on a man/woman, who isn't willing to waste their time on you.

Thank you for your sharing! I like i very much!

Great comments! You are so nice, man! You never know how much i like'em!

Yes, that's cool. The device is amazing! Waiting for your next one!

Kobe Bryant Shoes|Kobe Bryant Shoes
LeBron James Shoes|LeBron James Shoes

We all know these years china pallet racking in china develop very fast, now the design capacity of racking is very strong in china.
You can see every kind of china racking in china, includingDrive in racking,
cantilever racking, shelving,Longspan shelving, dexion racking,. We also have very experienced engineer to do the design and instlaation job.
Mezzanine Floor
refrigeration equipment

The comments to this entry are closed.

Sign-up to receive a weekly digest of the latest posts from Democracy Arsenal.
Powered by TypePad


The opinions voiced on Democracy Arsenal are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of any other organization or institution with which any author may be affiliated.
Read Terms of Use