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You're overgeneralizing, which isn't helpful, and seem to be unable to see the story from the perspective of countries within the region we're talking about. People sympathize with people like the developer this story is about, not with the theocratic apparatus within Iran's government structure. If Iranians in general were as bad as you portray them, then no regime change in Iran could ever have any positive effects anyway. Of course, they aren't.

There is also an inability to differentiate between secular power play in the interest of one's country and the influence of religious fundamentalists. There are really two different issues, Iran's ambitions in the region, which are backed up by secular forces in Iran, too, and the theocratic constitution.

1. Some of the actions of Iran's government you describe are pretty much what the US does all the time, except that Iran does it only within their own region. For example, the US sends special forces into all kinds of countries to do their dirty work (e.g. into Iran, Afghanistan), and Iran sends special forces into all kinds of countries to do their directly work, too. There is a slight difference, though. The US has been doing that almost everywhere, whereas the Iranians are mostly trying to fix (in their favour, of course) a mess that was caused by the Second Iraq War initiated by a US aggression. The US basically destroyed the neighbouring country, so for the Iranians this looks similar to e.g. if Russia had just occupied Mexico, put heavy sanctions on the US and would constantly threaten to bomb the US. That's not a good basis for future negotiations, and trying to act against such moves and trying to keep or increase one's own country sphere of influence in neighbouring countries seems like a natural and rational policy.

Here we see a power struggle between two nations whose geostrategical goals are not aligned. However, I'd still say, from the eyes of an impartial observer, that Iran clearly has more of a reason and a right to extend their sphere of influence to neighbouring countries in the region than the US, who have just absolutely fucking nothing to do in the region and are biggest reason why it is in turmoil in the first place. The idea that e.g. the US had a special right to control the Strait of Hormuz is, simply put, absurd.

2. Then there is the problem with the theocracy, which has nothing to do with the previous point. Many if not most people in Iran are probably against their theocracy, but unfortunately the constitution is designed as a theocratic regime and that's hard to change. The government of Iran is not necessarily for Ayatolla Khamenei and his verdicts either, and the younger people would like to get more freedom and many of them would like to get rid of the theocractic elements in their constitution and particularly the religious police.

US foreign politics and Western foreign politics in general are muddling up the two issues, and that's very regrettable. Allying with Saudi Arabia, who has literally just hacked a US journalist to death, will make you a hypocrite about it anyway in the eyes of Iranians, and then the constant confusion of 1 and 2 makes things even worse.

Iran primarily needs change 2, whereas 1 is simply based on a desire to act on their own interests and can only be moderated, e.g. with suitable treaties. The best way of promoting the change 2 would probably be to open up to Iran and do what's best to strengthen women's and LGBT rights in the region (e.g. by guaranteeing asylum, anti-censorship help, diplomatic pressure for human rights, etc.)

The US currently is unable to do that, since the current US government is ideologically very close to the theocratic apparatus in Iran.


No need for condescending sighs, I kind of know what I'm talking about and to be honest, I'm not quite sure whether I buy into your claims of irrelevance. International rights and their moral justification are to a large extent based on habits, i.e., customary rights, and on the principle of reciprocity. There are also principles of state sovereignity to consider. Finally, there is the problem of only selectively applying moral principles and international rights, which is inherently unjust.

I have argued that people should base their judgements on a better understanding, trying to put themselves into the shoes of e.g. someone in a country that is being threatened to be invaded by the largest military force of the world and has been threatened in the past. I have also suggested to be careful not to confuse geopolitical strategies of countries with moral points, and that any sanctions or other efforts to influence Iran should be targeted against its theocratic structure, which is at the heart undemocratic. In reality, however, the US mostly seeks to increase their sphere of influence for geopolitical reasons and the US has no right at all to do that. There is no international law or any other reasonable construction that would justify that the US does anything in that region of the earth at all. I'm suggesting that sanctions should be justified morally and, if so, extended to countries like e.g. Saudi Arabia, too, in order not to appear to be selective and therefore unjust. I am for sanctions and other non-violent measures to increase democracy in countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, and so forth, if these measures promise to be at least moderately successful. Otherwise, I believe that change almost must come from within.

I'm not sure what you ware suggesting in contrast to this. This looks very much like a conflict between the US and Iran that is mostly about geostrategy. This is what I suggested to and you consider it irrelevant. What is it, then, you're suggesting? That the US should act as a world police without any mandate, despite the US's horrendous track record of torture, illegal kidnappings, aggressive wars against other countries, and so on? This doesn't make sense to me, especially given that the US has already created great havoc and chaos in the whole region.

I'm really baffled at what you're trying to argue for. It is obvious that in this conflict both Iran and the US primarily act out of strategic interests in the region and not because of any moral concerns, and accusing the US of hypocricy seems quite justified.

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