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Starving Iran Won’t Free It

By Hooman Majd, an Iranian-American journalist and the author of The Ayatollah Begs to Differ and The Ayatollahs Democracy (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 03/03/12): There’s an old saying, attributed to the British Foreign Office in colonial days: “Keep the Persians hungry, and the Arabs fat.” For the British — then the stewards of Persian destiny — that was the formula for maintaining calm; it still is for Saudi Arabian leaders, who simply distribute large amounts of cash to their citizens at the first sign of unrest at their doorstep. But in the case of Iran, neither America nor Britain seems to be observing the old dictum. Keeping the Persians hungry was a guarantee that they wouldn’t rise up against their masters. Today, the fervent wish of the West appears to be that they do exactly that. Except that the West is doing everything in its power to keep the Iranians hungry — even hungrier than they might ordinarily be under the corrupt and incompetent administration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It is no surprise that the Ma...
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