The Atlantic

It Was Never Just About Human Rights in Iran

The administration's commitment to a better future for Iranians may last only as long as that commitment can be used to secure the regime’s demise or a better nuclear deal—whichever comes first.
Source: Nazanin Tabatabaee / WANA / Reuters

The horrifying numbers are still trickling in: Anywhere from 200 to more than 1,000 people dead. Seven thousand people in prison. The full human cost of Iran’s recent crackdown on protests that started last month is only now coming into focus, as the demonstrations taper off and more details come out of an opaque country where authorities shut down the internet during some of the worst violence. And suddenly, the Trump administration spoke out on human rights.   

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today that the United States is “proud to be the world’s leading advocate on human rights,” shortly before his administration put financial penalties on a number of individual human-rights abusers, including officials in South Sudan, Slovakia, and Saudi Arabia. But when it comes to condemning entire governments, he has put particular emphasis

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