OpinionIran in the World PressSupporting Iran's democrats

Supporting Iran’s democrats

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Wall Street Journal – REVIEW & OUTLOOK: A major theme emerging from yesterday’s testimony by General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker is the harm being done to U.S. interests in Iraq by the government of Iran. So you have to wonder what was going through the heads of Vermont Democrat Pat Leahy and fellow Senators who recently slashed support for Iranian democrats.
The Wall Street Journal

REVIEW & OUTLOOK
September 11, 2007; Page A18

A major theme emerging from yesterday’s testimony by General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker is the harm being done to U.S. interests in Iraq by the government of Iran. So you have to wonder what was going through the heads of Vermont Democrat Pat Leahy and fellow Senators who recently slashed support for Iranian democrats.

The Bush Administration has requested $75 million to maintain existing aid for Iranian human rights groups, but the Senators chopped it to $25 million. The Senators cited concern that “grantees suspected of receiving U.S. assistance have been harassed and arrested by the government.” So let’s see: Because Poland’s Communists often harassed Lech Walesa, the U.S. should not have assisted the Solidarity union movement? Meanwhile, inside Iran, the unpopular regime has increased its crackdown on opponents, arresting students and closing newspapers, while human rights groups report numerous cases of torture and violent repression of women’s groups.

We’re happy to say the money for Iran was restored last Thursday through an amendment offered on the Senate floor by Independent Democrat Joe Lieberman. “At a time when the Iranian regime is doing everything in its power to roll back dissidents and democrats, Congress has sent a powerful signal that we stand with the Iranian people in their struggle for freedom,” Mr. Lieberman said. Would that every Senator understood that signal.

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