Time to send strong message to freedom-loving Iranian people 

Thursday marks the 31st anniversary of the Iranian Islamic Revolution. Iranian leaders have decided to “festively” commemorate this anniversary by vowing to deliver a powerful punch to the West.

Just over 30 years ago, with the support of the then-new Islamic regime, radical Islamic students in Tehran carried the banner of their revolution right up through an attack on the United States embassy compound, where they took 53 Americans hostage.

Revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini saw the hostages as more than a bargaining chip as he built his new regime.

The months did drag on until we saw the magical images of the hostages’ release after 444 days in confinement, coupled with my father’s inspiring inauguration. This marked the start of an era of a bold and innovative America-first approach to foreign policy.

Sadly, we seem to have lost our way on that front.

It is of great concern that despite a year of allegedly aggressive negotiations with our “allies” in an effort to find a diplomatic solution to Iran’s pursuit of nuclear capabilities, the only tangible results appear to have been increasing nuclear progress and arrogance from the caretakers of the old Islamic Revolution.

These bold proclamations on the part of Iranian leadership are undoubtedly an attempt to keep the focus of the international community and even many Iranian eyes off of their simmering internal rebellion.

The Obama administration and it Democratic enablers in Congress have previously failed to recognize that our strongest allies in the fight against Iran’s nuclear ambitions and international terror efforts are the unlikely duo of our friends in Israel and the millions of Iranians who have followed opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi into the streets.

By continuing to abide by its ineffective brand of diplomacy, this administration is setting us up for a risk much greater than the trouble of undertaking unilateral sanctions or using other forceful means to resolve the burgeoning conflict. It is time for our nation to send a strong, powerful message of support to freedom-loving Iranians. It is also time to send a message to Iran’s revolutionary leadership that the days of appeasement are behind us.

Michael Reagan, the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is chairman and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation (www.reaganlegacyfoundation.org).

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