Iran's Soft War

"..This goes further than closing opposition news outlets and now reportedly includes placing Basij militia instructors in elementary schools, more media controlled by the country's Revolutionary Guard, and expanded surveillance of the Internet.

Iran's leaders claim they are facing nothing less than a Western-directed "color revolution," just as Russia's allies did in Ukraine, where the Orange Revolution of 2004 and 2005 swept the streets with democratic fervor. But the Orange Revolution was a genuine expression of popular anger, not a plot orchestrated from Washington or Brussels. It was however, aided by diplomacy. Western diplomats can draw on experience learned in Kiev to help the "green movement" in Tehran. The United States and particularly Europe should be doing much more to engage and cultivate this newly vocal "other Iran," sustaining its calls for a democratically chosen government.

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