Iran's Bluster Is Just Fear of Trump -- and Revolution

by DR. MICHAEL LEDEEN February 23, 2017

They're chanting "Death to America" in Tehran again, on the anniversary of the Iranian revolution of 1979. And they are stomping on big posters of The Donald.

Iranian leaders are warning the United States that tough talk and threats are pointless; that Iran is so powerful they will pursue their revolutionary mission no matter what we do or say, that their efforts are blessed by Allah.

But it's all bluster -- and the Iranian people know it.

The rent-a-crowds, which have a high proportion of military men, are not really prepared to directly challenge the United States. The marches, chants, and posters are not so much for our consumption as for that of their own citizens, most of whom are disgusted with the failed regime and yearn for a return to the Western world. The regime fears that, sooner or later, the tens of millions who detest Khamenei, Rouhani, et al., will flood the streets as they recently did on the occasion of the funeral of Hashemi Rafsanjani, chanting anti-regime and anti-Russian slogans.

Today's "festivities" are designed to keep the Iranian people in their oppressed places -- and mass hangings and torture underline their real targets.

The regime is intensely worried that the Trump team is preparing serious action. The mullahs know that if America moves, most Iranians will try to bring down the regime.

As luck would have it, another Persian anniversary arrives next month: Nowruz, the Persian new year, whose origins lie in the country's Zoroastrian past. The radical Muslims who rule the Islamic Republic have always disliked these celebrations -- the most famous of which features jumping through bonfires -- and it is likely that there is a vast Zoroastrian underground in the country.

This would be a great occasion for Trump, Tillerson, Pence, Mattis, Flynn, and Pompeo to call for a free Iran. Something like this:

We Americans embrace those brave Iranians who are fighting to be free. We are common victims of the tyrants around Khamenei.

The Tehran regime constantly preaches "Death to America," and they have made good on this slogan, killing hundreds of American soldiers, taking scores of American hostages, harassing our naval forces in the Persian Gulf, and supporting terrorism worldwide.

We support the Iranian people in their legitimate efforts to freely design a modern constitution, remove the theocratic tyrants, and rejoin the Western world.

Revolutionary Donald? If he can do it here, he can do it there, too.

Dr. Michael Ledeen is the Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He is also a contributing editor at National Review Online. Previously, he served as a consultant to the National Security Council, the State Department, and the Defense Department.  He has also served as a special adviser to the Secretary of State. He holds a Ph.D. in modern European history and philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, and has taught at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Rome.

He is author of more than 20 books, the most recent include: Accomplice ot Evil: Iran and the War Against the West; The War Against the Terror Masters;  The Iranian Time Bomb; Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavelli's Iron Rules Are As Timely and Important Today As Five Centuries Ago, Tocqueville on American Character: Why Tocqueville's Brilliant Exploration of the American Spirit Is As Vital and Important Today As It Was Nearly Two Hundred Years Ago; and, Freedom Betrayed: How America Led a Global Democratic Revolution, Won the Cold War, and Walked Away

Dr. Ledeen regularly appears on Fox News, and on a variety of radio talk shows.  He has been on PBS's NewsHour and CNN's Larry King Live, among others, and regularly contributes to the Wall Street Journal and to National Review Online. He has a blog on Pajamasmedia.com.


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