A Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit has unveiled a report outlining a “maximum pressure” strategy the Biden administration could take to support anti-government demonstrators protesting the Iranian regime.
The steps announced by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) come as Iran, according to the Associated Press, said Monday it will hold public trials in Tehran for 1,000 people detained during the demonstrations, which began on Sept. 16 after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who was reportedly murdered by the country’s police.
“The ongoing street protests in Iran, as well as the evolving pattern of anti-regime protests in Iran since 2017, illustrate the need for developing — in addition to a ‘maximum pressure’ strategy on the regime that incorporates all tools of American power — a transnational strategy of ‘maximum support’ for the Iranian people,” the FDD report says.
One step the White House could take is to provide information to Iranian demonstrators about the movements of the regime’s security forces.
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“The Biden administration likely possesses intelligence through signals and imagery that it should share with Iranian protestors to warn them about the movement of all security services involved in repression and to inform them about Tehran’s weaknesses and strengths,” the report says.
The administration could support labor strikes and use “its cyber capacities to disrupt the normal operation of these strategic sectors,” back efforts to “provide the Iranian people access to uncensored internet via satellite,” and expand human rights sanctions against the regime, the report says.
It could also “move to isolate the Islamic Republic politically by pushing for its removal from, or censure in, international organizations, while also pressuring allies to sever or downgrade their bilateral diplomatic relations,” it adds.
“U.S. policy since the 2009 election-related uprising in Iran has gradually incorporated a variety of human rights related sanctions and designations to name, shame, penalize, and deter Iranian officials and institutions that commit human rights abuses,” the FDD report says. “Yet U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran has prioritized Tehran’s nuclear program and, to a considerably lesser extent, its ballistic missile program and material support for international terrorism, but not human rights.”
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