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Bobby Ghosh

Biden Is Missing an Opportunity to Put Pressure on Iran

Protests have weakened the regime in Tehran, but the US has been reluctant to enforce sanctions on oil exports while the war in Ukraine rages. 

Opportune moment.

Opportune moment.

Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Having trained two generations of Iranians to performatively chant “Marg bar Amrika” at every opportunity, the country’s hardline leaders might now wonder about the wisdom of making the call for death to hate figures a national reflex. Cries of “Marg bar Putin” at recent demonstrations in Tehran against the invasion of Ukraine must have been embarrassing for a regime that regards the Russian leader as an ally.   

But that is nothing compared with the discomfort caused by chants of “Death to Khamenei” and “Death to Raisi” now ringing out at protests across the country. As demonstrations against rising prices of food and fuel have turned political, more Iranians are directing their rage at Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi.