Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iran… What Should President Obama Do? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

Voices in Washington criticizing the US President’s silence over what is happening in Iran have begun to grow louder, and a group of writers, intellectuals, and some members of Congress have called upon President Obama to take action against what the Iranian regime is doing to its defenseless citizens.

What should President Obama do?

The answer: nothing! That’s right, [nothing] because the Iranian regime is eager for any US interference – whether this interference is correct [or not] – in order to tie the just demands made by a broad swath of the Iranian people with working for foreign powers.

The Iranian regime is in a difficult position and senses the seriousness of its internal and external position, this is why the regime is under pressure and strain however any US interference, particularly from the US President, would only serve the interests of the Supreme Leader of Iran, and [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad’s government.

The Iranian scene is divergent, and the demonstrations that are taking place in Iran stem from long-standing internal divisions; they are not an organized movement, or the result of a well planned opposition. [Mir Hossein] Moussavi is not a historic leader, but he is a leader who has caused a historic division in Iran. Therefore any impulsive statement or action taken by the US President [with regards to Iran] will only serve to protect the Iranian regime, and weaken the peaceful demonstrations that are taking place in the streets. It would be far more effective if action is taken internationally by way of international organizations that will provide help in conveying the repressed Iranian voice.

What is taking place in Iran today is both important and serious; nobody must think that what is happening is a film that will end in one hour or even one year, rather what is taking place will be a long journey, but it will end – as we have said repeatedly – with a different Iran. What is happening today in Tehran is a struggle; it is an open battle for power between the [opposing] pillars of the regime. This coincides with public restlessness at poor economic conditions, lack of basic freedoms, and the regime repressing the people either, in the name of God, or as a result of the internal situation.

The power struggle in Iran is taking place in the open, and has yet to be resolved; however any resolution [to this] will only be temporary. For when this battle spreads into the very foundations of the Iranian regime, the winners may become losers. This conflict is not taking place for the sake of excluding one leader or another from the Iranian [political] scene, the issue is far greater than this, and today both the Wali Al Faqih and the legitimacy of the Iranian regime are at stake. This is proven by the fact that a large portion of the population [have taken to the streets], choosing against exporting the Islamic revolution, and going to war with the rest of the world.

Therefore [foreign] intervention today, in the manner of former President George Bush, will be akin to throwing the Iranian regime a life jacket; this is something that the regime is anxiously awaiting, and therefore something that must be avoided. This does not mean there is a lack of compassion and sympathy towards what the Iranian public is facing, for there will be involvement [by way of international organizations] but without direct intervention in what is taking place internally.

What is required now from the international community, and also the Arabs, is to closely examine the groups who are affiliated to Iran in our region, and study them peacefully, as these groups have been shocked and stunned [by events in Iran]. Therefore Hamas, Hezbollah, and certain groups in Iraq must be closely monitored.

The fact that demonstrators took to the street yesterday and were shot at by security forces is proof that the regime is facing a great and serious defiance [from the public], and it is therefore not permissible to allow innocents to stand defenseless before the Supreme Leader and his regime.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

More Posts