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Wake-Up Call

Time to get serious about helping Iran's opposition.

12:00 AM, Sep 9, 2009 • By JOHN P. HANNAH
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After this week's office raids, an Iranian human rights activist was quoted as saying that "The only thing that might stop [the regime from arresting Mousavi and Karroubi] is if they feel they cannot get away with it." Working with its allies, the United States needs to make clear now that the Islamic Republic will not get away cost-free if it moves against the opposition's top leaders. There's no guarantee that will successfully deter a frightened dictatorship that now clearly sees its possible demise on the horizon. But it's the right thing to do. It's also the smart thing--if only the administration will see it.

John P. Hannah, senior fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, was national security advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney from 2005-2009.