Don’t disappoint Iranian reformers

Imagine 3,700 Americans being arrested for protesting conditions in our country.

You probably can’t. The First Amendment safeguards our right to protest peacefully. Any demonstrations so severe that they resulted in criminal activity requiring that scale of arrests would be taken by government as an indication something is seriously wrong.

But this isn’t Iran. There, security forces have arrested 3,700 people during and after widespread demonstrations during the past few weeks, a government official revealed Tuesday.

At least the Iranian regime has not reached the level of 2009 — yet. During that year, more than 4,000 people were arrested for protesting conditions in their country. There were numerous reports of detainees being tortured, even murdered by government thugs.

What ought U.S. President Donald Trump to do? Should he follow ex-President Barack Obama’s 2009 lead, in making it clear this country would not support the Iranian reformers?

Continued repression should be punished with economic sanctions against Iran. The United Nations should be asked to condemn the regime — though, lots of luck with that, given the U.N.’ record of standing up for despotism.

Obama made it clear in 2009 that Americans would do nothing in support of freedom in Iran. That mistake should not be repeated.