The Iranian New Year is marked with the feast of Nowrouz and falls on March 21. Translated, Nowrouz means “new day” and fittingly it should be a new day for the oppressed Iranian people as the effort begins to reverse the damage caused by years of efforts by the Obama administration to appease the mullahs in Tehran.
F.H. Buckley, a professor at the Scalia Law School, wrote an editorial in the New York Post about this need to provide the Iranian people with hope during this year’s Nowrouz observances.
“It would be a good opportunity for President Trump to mark a new day in US-Iran relations — one that corrects his predecessor’s poor treatment of the Iranian people,” Buckley writes.
“Last year at this time, the regime announced that an additional 7,000 undercover officers would patrol the streets to arrest women who had too much hair showing from under a headscarf or were out walking with a boyfriend,” he added.
“That’s why change will come to Iran, if at all, from the streets, from an Iranian Spring. And the Iranians who want to rid their country of its oppressive regime must be told that America shares their goals.” Buckley offered.
Buckley took to task the Obama administration for failing to support mass protests against the Iranian regime during the disputed presidential elections in 2009; a missed opportunity for the U.S. and urged the Trump administration to demonstrate its support for the Iranian people.
“I have a suggestion for Trump. After we ignored the street protests against the Iranian dictatorship, after we cut our disastrous Iran deal, after we abandoned Israel to the threat of medium-range missiles from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, after American hostages were allowed to rot in Iranian jails, let the president welcome NowRuz with a message to the Iranian people,” Buckley said.
“Let him wish them a happy and prosperous new year, and the freedom that all men deserve from their cruel oppressors.”
It’s a noble sentiment and an important one since the Obama administration was quick to offer Iranians a traditional Nowrouz greeting, but never one directed specifically at the Iranian people’s desires for more freedom and democracy in their country. Such a message from the Trump administration would be an important symbol and one that would go a long way to putting the mullahs on notice that this administration will act in a much more conservative manner towards the regime.
Trump has already offered the political rhetoric chastising the regime and the much-maligned nuclear deal, but he needs to keep that momentum going in order to restore stability and balance in the Middle East; a process that Nathan Field, founder and former CEO of Industry Arabic, a translation company that provided services to over 300 high-profile customers throughout the Middle East, praised in a piece for The Hill.
“President Trump’s hardline but pragmatic approach to Iran is paving the way for the restoration of a semblance of order and regional stability. That’s a significant accomplishment for an administration still in its first 100 days,” Field writes.
“Effective foreign policy is not necessarily a matter of complicated treaties that take years to negotiate or opaque theories on international relations that only PhDs can understand. A simple message and tone set at the top is often all that’s needed.”
Field notes how President Trump has made Iranian adventurism throughout the Middle East an issue requiring a coordinated, but firm response, thereby correcting the errors made by the Obama administration.
The deal not only does not “guarantee that Iran will never obtain nuclear weapons, in the process of negotiating it, Iranian leaders, sensing that the U.S. wanted the deal more than they did, felt emboldened throughout the region in countries such as Syria, Lebanon and Yemen,” he said.
One telling example was the American non-response to a series of Iranian cyber-attacks on U.S. banks because, as one official noted, “If we had unleashed the fury in response to that DDoS attack, I don’t know if we would have gotten an Iran deal.”
“The Obama administration, by contrast, alienated nearly every traditional U.S. Middle East ally. Having thrown all of its prestige into a nuclear deal with Iran, opposed by most of the countries of the region, Washington had no leverage.”
The payoffs for the Trump administration’s tougher line against Iran has already yielded some benefits with Saudi Arabia’s willingness to send more troops to Syria and set up safe zones for refugees to stem the flood of a Syrian exodus from the war.
In many ways, Iran is slowly finding itself nudged back onto an island of isolation, even as the mullahs desperately reach out to Russia, China and Turkey in efforts to remain politically and diplomatically relevant.
We can only hope this Nowrouz brings a much better new year to the Iranian people; one that will eventually see them freed from the oppression of the mullahs.