Should the U.S. support protesters in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon?

There is understandable concern that any vocal American support for popular protests against authoritarian anti-American Muslim regimes will feed into the narrative that these are US sponsored uprisings, undermining the credibility of the protesters’ legitimate grievances of corruption and economic issues, while giving ammunition to scapegoat America and undermine popular support.

But how many times do we have to hear the ayatollah say that protests, whether in Lebanon, Iran or Iraq, are instigated by the “enemies of Iran,” before we realize that not responding and not supporting protesters advances the rulers’ interests, empowering Iran and its proxies? There is nothing that can appease or placate the revolutionary ideology of Twelver Shi’ite believers in today’s Islamic Republic of Iran, and any Westerners who think otherwise are just deluding themselves.