As demonstrated by current events in Tunisia and Egypt, oppressive regimes are rarely immune to their citizens’ desire for democratic government. Of course, desire is always tempered by reality; therefore how democratic demands are made manifest is a critical source of study for both political scientists and foreign policy makers. What issues and consequences surround the fall of a government, what type of regime replaces it, and to what extent are these efforts successful?
The forces that attempted to create democracy in Iran a hundred years ago are have only grown and become more experienced in the language and logic of democracy. The hitherto unrealized dream of democracy lives on. The abducted revolution of 1979 has only delayed the quest for democracy, but not destroyed it. International forces, acting with prudence and patience can be a crucial ally of Iranian democrats in what has so far seemed like a Sisyphean struggle.
Recent developments in Iran have convinced advocates of both softer arms-control approaches and more hard-line regime-change strategies that their analyses are correct and their policy prescriptions are working. The arms-controllers see a Tehran more willing to negotiate; the regime-changers see increasing repression. Though evidence for both claims can be marshaled, neither offers balanced insight into Iranian behavior or a sensible strategy for breaking the decades-long impasse in U.S.-Iranian relations.
Bombing Iran will exacerbate, not resolve problems, Michael McFaul, Larry Diamond and Abbas Milani demonstrate in a new landmark article. "Rather than throw the reactionaries in Tehran a political lifeline in the form of war, the United States should pursue a more subtle approach: contain Iranian agents in the region, but offer to negotiate unconditionally with Iran on all the outstanding issues.
In an article written for the current issue of the Washington Quarterly by Larry Diamond, Michael McFaull and Abbas Milani, suggests that the U.S.
In the coming years, few if any countries will more preoccupy the foreign policy attention of the United States than Iran. The United States has long lacked a viable and coherent policy toward Iran. Perhaps for the first time since the fall of the Shah's regime in 1979, the United States seems determined to try to forge one. The United States must move swiftly to chart a bold, new course that addresses all three of America's principal national interests with Iran. Our policy should seek to halt the development of an Iranian nuclear bomb, to end the regime's support of