Despite many calls for reforms in Iran, the Opposition – both in and out of the country – has failed as a collective force to garner enough traction to manifest any tangible progress. Not only that but none of the internal proponents for change have been able thus far to mobilise international support for their platforms. Considering Iran’s new-found belligerence and the reality of Tehran’s expansionist policies in the MENA region, it stands to reason we now look at alternative approaches allowing for greater freedoms for Iran’s people.
As it were, Iran’s geography and ethnic make-up offer an opportunity we have yet to explore to push against the very forces within the regime which have threatened regional stability. As the world moves away from military interventionism to favour instead normalisation, there may be another option we have yet to consider in relation to Iran: hybrid containment.
Democracy need not be a distant dream for millions of Iranians if only we were to reframe our approach and look to encourage an approach that favours containment of the Iranian regime itself, but promotion of its people, in all their regional, religious and ethnic diversity.
The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to gather a panel of experts to discuss where we are in relation to Iran strategy, and where we might yet be able to head.