The Trump administration has turned to social media to target the Iranian government’s central mainstays: its funding and support of Islamist terror, along with its wholesale subjugation of its people.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has used social media to robustly condemn Iran on numerous fronts. These include the regime’s unabated nuclear weapons program, support of global terror groups, armed destabilization of the Middle East, and human rights abuses.
Given that the Iranian government appears quite engaged with these activities and otherwise wholly unengaged in formal diplomatic channels, Twitter just may be our most direct courier.
“5,000 Iranian’s arrested…30 women jailed for protesting the hijab. Hundreds of Sufi Dervishes, dozens of environmentalists, 400 Ahwazis, 30 Isfahan farmers – all imprisoned by Iran’s criminal regime. Iranian people deserve respect for their human rights,” Pompeo recently tweeted.
As the anti-regime protests grow bigger, louder and more violent, Iran’s economic catastrophe reveals a loss of confidence in the ayatollahs who rule the Islamic Republic.
Though “Death to America” is projected with 1979-esque zeal at staged rallies, the Times of Israel recently noted that chants of “Death to the Dictator,” “Death to Palestine” and “No to Gaza, no to Lebanon” are becoming more common.
Pompeo’s formal declarations and social media statements together illustrate the sharp, very clear difference between the say-nothing-do-nothing policy vacuum of the Obama administration.
The chutzpah of the long-silenced and economically deprived Iranian public could be becoming bolder, or perhaps simply more desperate to be heard.
The Iranian people are once again beginning to vocalize their dissatisfaction with a country crumbling under corruption, repression and mismanagement.
Tehran has reportedly funded Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government to the tune of $6 billion since the Syrian civil war began seven years ago. That is in addition to Tehran’s insatiable urge to finance Islamist terror around the globe.
Meanwhile, the domestic Iranian audience looks inward to see brilliant, eager young minds with two employment options: join the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps for a job, or get a visa to move to another country.
The entirety of the Trump administration has correctly, publicly and consistently pivoted away from President Obama’s policies of squeamish discomfort with the internal hunger for change and wholesale look-the-other-way-appeasement.
President Obama’s failure to support Iranian protesters drew sharp condemnation from many, including Jewish Agency Chairman and former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky who called it “the biggest failure to help human rights in modern history.”
We cannot undo the past, so we remain patient, persistent and hopeful that those who felt abandoned before will try again to make the Iranian government-Revolutionary Guards complex accountable to the Iranian people.
In the interim, we see America’s economic diplomacy taking its directed toll. According to Forbes, major global companies including Maersk and General Electric are withdrawing from Iran as rapidly as they entered it in 2015.
Inflation has skyrocketed. Since the May U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the Iranian rial has lost nearly half of its value, trading currently at about 80,000 rials to $1 in U.S. currency.
Unemployment across all working-age ranges in Iran stands, at the regime-reported level of 12 percent, while youth unemployment is above 28 percent.
And those are the government-reported figures. The real jobless figures could be higher.
Pompeo continues to ratchet up the rhetoric against Tehran, tweeting, “#Iran’s regime has brought suffering & death to the world & its own people. Just in Europe, Iran-sponsored assassinations, bombings & other terrorist attacks have scarred countless lives. Hope the Europeans raised this with Rouhani & Zarif on their European tour.”
Pompeo’s formal declarations and social media statements together illustrate the sharp, very clear difference between the say-nothing-do-nothing policy vacuum of the Obama administration and the proactive, engaged policy position on Iran that America has today.
Pompeo issued a stern warning to Iran’s leaders: “I hope they understand that if they begin to ramp up their nuclear program, the wrath of the entire world will fall upon them.”