Does the U.S. have a role to play in Iran?

Posted June 22, 2009, at 2:44 p.m.

The Islamic theocracy in Iran seems to be in the throes of change, with supporters of losing presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi continuing to demonstrate in defiance of religious leaders who have called for the protest to stop. Even though Mr. Mousavi was prime minister in the 1980s, and may not be friendly to the U.S., he is seen by reform-minded Iranians and Westerners as an agent of change. Should the U.S. work to rally opponents of the status quo within Iran? Or does that risk a violent backlash, such as what happened to Iraqi Kurds after the Gulf War? Does change in Iran have to come from within? Or can the U.S. help leverage a regime change?

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