Trump thinks the North Korea blueprint will work with Iran. He’s dangerously wrong

The people who will end up getting hurt are the pro-democracy Iranian activists, and I know because they told me themselves

Negar Mortazavi
Washington DC
The Independent Voices

Over the past week, I have spoken to Iranian men and women who are critical of the Islamic Republic, who have been working toward a free and democratic Iran, and who have paid a high piece for their activism, including detention, forced migration and exile. They have told me a lot of things, but one opinion unites them all: war with the US would be a disaster for political reform and democracy in their country.

A military conflict with the world’s strongest army will put hawkish Commanders in charge in Iran. It will give them enough power to crack down on what is left of a domestic political opposition. A grave existential threat to the Islamic Republic will encourage its most paranoid elements to further securitize the social and political sphere and wrap up all internal dissent.

Political activists told me that a military conflict will not only be cataclysmic for the ordinary people of the country, it will also help strengthen the most hardline factions of Iran’s political establishment. Such changes will severely harm various rights movements in Iran, including those organized by women and minorities, students and laborers. Activists remember that, during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the government characterized nearly all internal dissent as a conspiracy organized by the external enemy, and crushed it.


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