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The West must confront Iran

A demonstrator shouts slogans near the flag of the former Imperial State of Iran as he gathers with supporters of Maryam Rajavi, head of the Iranian opposition group National Council of Resistance, outside the Iran Embassy, in Rome, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2017 Credit: Gregorio Borgia 

Donald Trump has announced new sanctions against 14 Iranian individuals and entities as punishment for their treatment of citizens taking part in recent protests. And yet, for all the obvious criminality of the regime, the world continues to hold back when it comes to demanding reform. On the contrary, several countries, including Britain, have insisted that the nuclear deal, clearly being used as cover by Iran to develop a long-term weapons programme, remains in effect. Mr Trump has agreed to lift a separate raft of sanctions for another period on the proviso that the deal is at least toughened up. This is a battle that Washington must stick to and win.

The protests are the reason why. They showed that domestic support for the regime is dwindling, that a mass – apparently unorganised – body of opinion backs change, just as the anti-communist revolution in, say, Romania came as a complete...

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