Iran’s Green Movement approaches irrelevance: why does Washington continue to gamble on it?
mideastforeignpolicy / Flynt Leverett, Hillary Mann Leverett

The standing of Iran's so-called Green Movement is a deeply serious matter, with potentially profound implications for America's Iran policy. Since the Islamic Republic's June 12, 2009 presidential election, it has become widely accepted among Iran analysts in the United States and the Western political class more broadly that the emergence of the Green Movement in the wake of that election represents a fundamental challenge to Iran's current political order.

As we have discussed previously, the Obama Administration is increasingly incorporating "support" for the Green Movement as a factor in its policymaking calculations about Iran. Congress is now becoming engaged with legislative proposals to make "regime change" the explicit goal of America's Iran policy and to provide material support for Iranian oppositionists-just as Congress and President Clinton enacted the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998, formally defining regime change as the goal of America's Iraq policy and providing a wide range of material assistance to Iraqi opposition groups.

But, if the Green Movement is not what many Iran analysts and other foreign policy and political pundits have cracked it up to be, adopting such a policy course with regard to Iran would be, to recall Talleyrand's memorable observation, "worse than a crime"; it would be a "mistake"-a mistake with potentially devastating consequences for the United States and its interests in one of the most strategically vital parts of the ... >>>

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