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Santorum: Help the Iranian Opposition « The Washington Independent

In our conversation, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) referred back to the Iran Freedom and Support Act — which he introduced in 2005, and which created a $10 million fund for support of Iranian democracy — as a starting point on how to support Iranian protesters.

“We haven’t used those funds, and we should use them,” said Santorum. “The most important action we can take is to make sure dissidents can communicate. I don’t care if we make noise one way or another about what we’re doing as long as we’re behind some concrete action. We should be supporting labor unions and other groups that organizing right now. We should be looking at expatriate community. There are a lot of ways to get involved.”

I asked Santorum about a fairly popular argument on the right, that the American experience in Iraq has given hope to Iranian protesters. “There’s no question that Iraq not being a threat to Iran right now,” he said, “when it’s been a threat to Iran since Saddam Hussein took power, has created opportunities for dissent. It’s no longer a boogeyman that the regime can make people afraid of. And I don’t think it’s surprising that we’re seeing protesters holding up signs, written in English. That’s for the United States to read, and that’s a good sign as to who they’re looking toward.”

All of this, said Santorum, was tough to consider under a president who “doesn’t believe in America’s moral authority.”

“For all of his starry-eyed socialistic dreams for America, this president has a very different view of America’s role in the world,” he said. “This is someone who doesn’t believe in activism and America’s greatness as a way to change things around the world. He only believes we should do those things at home.”

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