If the people of Iran rise up against their authoritarian leaders, a national defense analyst is hoping the Trump administration will not cower but instead support calls for freedom.
Family Research Council analyst Bob Maginnis says he remembers the “Green Movement” that broke out in 2009 during the Obama administration, when Iranians protested the crooked presidential election that kept Mahmoud Admadinejad in office.
President Obama should have taken action, Maginnis says, to support the grassroots insurgency that took hold across the country.
“But we gave them not the time of day,” Maginnis says of the protesters and reform politicians, “and they were oppressed and crushed.”
Meanwhile, Iranians recently marked the 40th anniversary of the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover. Using that anniversary, the head of the Iran’s nuclear program used the date to announce Tehran is working on a prototype nuclear centrifuge that is 50 times faster than those allowed under the nuclear deal with world powers.
The announcement comes as U.S. sanctions continue to take a toll on the Iranian economy, which creates frustration in the streets and puts pressure on Iran’s wealthy, corrupt leaders.
“When they occupied our embassy and held our people hostage, I thought that was a terrorist act,” Maginnis observes. “And of course they've continued that sort of terrorism for the last 40 years spending a billion dollars a year supporting their terrorist proxies Hezbollah or Hamas.”
During the 2009 protests, Human Rights Watch reported hundreds of arrests of prominent "reformers" who oppose the regime. Basij militia members attacked student protesters on the streets and even in their dorm rooms.
President Obama was criticized for his tepid response to the protests and arrests, and his words became stronger days later as the protests grew and Republicans demanded strong words from the White House.