Iran’s Democracy Promotion Agenda

Friday Lunch Club quotes this WSJ article on Iran’s plans for regional hegemony in the Middle East:

Arab states are especially concerned because Tehran has succeeded in transcending sectarian and ideological divides to create a coalition that includes Sunni movements such as Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, sections of the Muslim Brotherhood, and even Marxist-Leninist and other leftist outfits that share Iran’s anti-Americanism. . . .

Tehran plays a patient game. Wherever possible, it is determined to pursue its goals through open political means, including elections. With pro-American and other democratic groups disheartened by the perceived weakness of the Obama administration, Tehran hopes its allies will win all the elections planned for this year in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

Setting aside the fact that Iran’s agenda is for the time being hostile to our interests, there’s really very little to reproach in the above-cited paragraphs. We’re obviously doing the same thing, the only difference being our results are less impressive.

That pretty much sums up the problem with interests-based — as opposed to principled — democracy promotion in theMiddle East: our guys lose. And that will be the case at least untilthe creation of a Palestinian state, and very possibly beyond.

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