Magazine article The Christian Century

Soccer Diplomacy

Magazine article The Christian Century

Soccer Diplomacy

Article excerpt

Iran is a young country: the median age is about 26. Young Iranians, who are connected to the outside world through the Internet and satellite TV, made their presence known in the streets as they protested the outcome of Iran's presidential election. Their campaign against what they view as a rigged election is perhaps the first protest movement driven by cell phones and the electronic messaging system known as Twitter.

It would be a mistake, however, to think that the protests rallied only the young. They attracted a broad cross-section of the population, including professionals, especially in urban areas. It would also be a mistake to interpret the protests as a sign of pro-Western or pro-American sentiment. The uprising represents a renewal of the hopes and dreams for freedom and openness that fueled the Islamic revolution of 1979--a revolution that was manipulated by the Ayatollah Khomeini and turned out badly for most Iranians, except for the conservatives who now run the country.

Since Iran has a justifiable suspicion of intervention by outsiders, especially by the U.S., and since Iran's supreme leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei, and reelected president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would like nothing better than to blame internal dissent on outside meddling, President Obama had to speak carefully about events, while voicing concerns about the violent repression of the protesters. It would be unwise for the U.S. to squander the current opportunity to engage Iran, as President Obama has signaled he intends to do--and to some extent has already done. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.