Commentary: Why the U.S. should support Iran protesters

In recent weeks, Iran has again been in the throes of an uprising. Signs of the regime change America had long hoped to see are on the horizon. In the unlikeliest cities — once the strongholds of the conservatives — Iranians have taken to the streets, demanding, not just reform, but a referendum.

A nationwide referendum in March 1979, in which over 90 percent of Iranians marked Islamic Republic as their choice of government, gave legitimacy to the current regime. Many Iranians now hope for a second referendum, which could give them a chance to undo the government they chose nearly 40 years ago. The restraint that the United States showed in refraining from military action against Iran was the right course when the threat of war loomed between the two nations. But while we must continue to avoid war at all costs, now that defenseless Iranians have taken to the streets, cautious silence is no longer the right approach.

Reuters, January 15, 2018