Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Cliff May Says U.S. Must Support Iran Protestors

Joining “Neal Asbury’s Truth for America” was Clifford D. May, President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism created immediately following the 9/11 attacks on the United States. He is also the Chairman of the Policy Committee of the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), an international, non-partisan organization based in Washington D.C. comprised of leading members of the national security community. The Daily Telegraph (U.K.) named May one of the “100 most influential conservatives in America” this year (as well as in its earlier tally).

May has recently been promoting a new documentary film entitled “Iranium,” in which he shared his opinions on the Iranian nuclear program.  May offers a unique perspective since he was in Tehran during the revolution that overthrew the Shah but installed today’s anti-Western/anti-Israel Islamic government. Iranium contains interviews with experts from around the world sending a warning to the world that if Iran succeeds with its nuclear weapons program, the result could be catastrophic.  Iran was so concerned about the film that they tried to shut down its Canadian showing, but ultimately failed. The film is touring the U.S. and other countries.

“As I watch the unfolding of events in Egypt, I see many similarities with Iran. Idealistic Iranian students took to the streets and they thought they were ushering in a democracy.  That didn’t happen. Instead, Khomeini came to power pretending to support their aspirations.   But he treated them like donkeys, using their numbers to bolster his legitimacy and then he kicked them away when he was done with them. Once the army laid down its weapons the generals were killed and the rule of law disappeared,” recalls May.

One of the other similarities to Iran was America’s complete misunderstanding of the events taking place in Iran.  In fact, May recalls that the Carter administration’s Andrew Young characterized Khomeini as “another Gandhi.”  May thinks this same naïve attitude is being taken by the Obama administration.

“The U.S. had missed an opportunity to support the Iranian demonstrators when they protested the rigged elections in 2009-2010. We can still correct this mistake by supporting the unrest there. Now that the Egyptian movement appears to be successful, it will inspire Iranians to try again. This time the U.S. must support them,” said May.

May noted that the real danger in Iran is its messianic look at the future.  He said that: “we can’t even imagine how radical Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is.  He has a messianic, apocalyptic view of the world that includes destroying the West and Israel.  The imam will return when millions of people are suffering. Having nuclear weapons will help him accomplish his goal.”

Iran is very far down the road toward its nuclear ambitions, but May thinks the U.S. can have an effect in slowing the process down by pushing even stronger sanctions against Iran.  Hobbling the Iranian economy will interfere with the flow of oil into Iran, which will result in civil unrest. He wants to see Iran isolated from the rest of the world.
May also thinks that cyber warfare, similar to the Stuxnet worm that shut down Iran’s centrifuges, could be a potent weapon against Iran.

Shifting attention back to Egypt, May thinks it is crucial that the Egyptian people are warned against the Muslim Brotherhood who want to hijack the regime change.  Although the Muslim Brotherhood likes to appear benign, they have strong ties to Hezbollah.
“The best scenario in Egypt will start with the U.S. supporting the protestors and pushing for a democratic process to take hold.  The Muslim Brotherhood can be marginalized if the Egyptian people realize that if they want a better economy, it won’t come from the Muslim Brotherhood who are only interested in flaming conflicts with the West and Israel. Make them defend their approach and the Egyptian people will realize that the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t the answer,” aid May.

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