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Editorial: Iran vs. its people: As sanctions bear down, the mullahs suppress a populace that wants more openness and opportunity

New York Daily News on

Published in Op Eds

Just as every American should stand with the freedom-loving throngs in Hong Kong, every American should stand with the thousands of Iranians taking to the streets in Tehran and elsewhere, only to be met with brute force, a choked-off internet and a government that funds terrorism and nuclear ambitions rather than answering their crying economic needs.

Analysts can debate the precise role American sanctions, introduced after President Trump discarded the Obama-brokered nuclear deal, have played in unleashing the unrest. What they must not minimize is the dismal condition of the long-suffering populace and their yearning for a better way.

As oil exports have cratered, Iran's economy has imploded. GDP is shrinking. Hyperinflation is devaluing earnings.

The crowds raising their voices cut across class and ethnic divides. A communications blackout and brutal crackdown that has taken hundreds lives, seems to only be emboldening the people as they demand an end to the theocracy that has kept them under its yoke for four decades now.

Trump Tuesday stepped on himself, first answering the question "Does the United States support these protesters in Iran?" with a flat "no," later tweeting "The United States of America supports the brave people of Iran who are protesting for their FREEDOM." The contradiction was rich coming from a White House that had vowed not to repeat Obama's supposedly "shameful" failure to buck up protesters.

 

But American stumbles look small alongside a proud Iranian march toward something like liberty.

(c)2019 New York Daily News

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