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Is Rouhani the New Gorbachev? By NATAN SHARANSKY

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Is Rouhani the New Gorbachev?

How to test a supposed reformer: Stand firm on sanctions, wait for proof.

By NATAN SHARANSKY, WSJ, Nov. 17, 2013

Where have I seen this play before? The plotlines of what is happening with Iran today are familiar to me and should be to others…

…As with Iran today, the economic and political crisis in the Soviet Union was real; so was the pressure exerted on the system from both within and without. Faced with the roiling frustration of its people, Moscow was desperately trying to preserve itself in power at home while simultaneously maintaining its status as a superpower abroad. Mr. Gorbachev, who understood the parlous circumstances in which his country stood, loosened some restrictions on speech and other forms of expression. He released a number of political prisoners and made vague promises of allowing free emigration…

…Ronald Reagan, who along with knowledgeable and tough-minded senators like Henry Jackson (who died in 1983), had long understood that lifting sanctions without any concrete evidence of Soviet reform was precisely the wrong way to proceed. Under the policy known as linkage, famously embodied in the so-called Jackson Amendment of 1974, the U.S. government tied economic concessions to real, verifiable reforms…

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  • Published: 11 years ago on November 18, 2013
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  • Last Modified: November 18, 2013 @ 10:22 am
  • Filed Under: History, International

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