By The Democracy Council, Special for USDR
The Democracy Council’s Iran Program Director, Hamed Behravan commented that regardless of the drawbacks of a strategic deal between the United States and Iran, the agreement has the potential to actually help reformists and human rights activists. Historically, the regime has effectively “scapegoated the U.S. – led sanctions to deflect criticism of the massive internal corruption and abysmal human rights violations,” said Behravan. Opening up the country, allowing Iranians fuller participation in the international community, “may work to refocus domestic opinion on the failures of the regime, emboldening and empowering human rights activists to hold the regime accountable,” continued Behravan. “Washington and the West should use this time to increase the support to the millions of Iranian activists rather than walking away,” stated Behravan.
“There is no doubt that China, Hezbollah, and the Assad regime believe that the deal is a political windfall,” stated James Prince, President of the Democracy Council. “The question is will the agreement’s expected economic dividend moderate the regime’s regional behavior or embolden extremist elements,” stated Prince. “American Soft power and assistance programs can do much to militate against a situation in which Tehran’s ability to threaten the region with a nuclear holocaust is degraded but its other extremist behavior increases,” said Prince.
Hamed Behravan is Democracy Council’s Director of Iran Programs. He has more than ten years of experience managing programs in Iran and serving as a leading journalist covering Iran and greater Middle East.
James Prince is the President of the Democracy Council and a leading expert on civil society in the Middl e East.
The Democracy Council, (www.democracycouncil.org), is a leading international nonprofit, nongovernmental organization promoting civil society, good governance, rule of law, and human rights in emerging countries around the world.
SOURCE The Democracy Council