TEHRAN, Iran — Pro-clergy militants on motorcycles chased down protesters and beat them with clubs early Friday, the third night of anti-government demonstrations in Tehran, witnesses said. The student-led protests were aimed at Iran’s hard-line clerics, who control the security forces and are locked in a power struggle with reformist President Mohammad Khatami….Meanwhile, former president Hashemi Rafsanjani (search) called on Iran’s youth not to fall into what he described as an American trap by denouncing the country’s political leadership. “I advise the youth, especially students … that they should be careful not to fall into trap dug out by the Americans,” Rafsanjani told worshippers at Friday prayers at Tehran University.

Writes David Holcberg of the Ayn Rand Institute:

Hundreds of Iranian students took to the streets last week to protest the dictatorial religious rule under which they live. They were calling for a separation between mosque and state, and in doing so were risking their lives.

These students could use all the help they can get in their fight against Iran’s terrorist regime. But–for all their professed concern about human rights–the Western media and the Bush administration seem indifferent to the students’ plight. If our president believes a militarily attack on Iran–the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism–is unwarranted at this point, he should at least give his full support to the students’ cause. Such support would go a long way to show freedom-seeking Muslims worldwide, who suffer under secular or religious political oppression, that America stands with them in their struggle for freedom. Such support would also show our enemies that we are serious about defeating them.

A few words spoken by President Bush in support of the Iranian protestors would surely help bring down the regime–without the need of a war. So why isn’t the president speaking out?

Related Reading: Iran, Not So Far Away [Hat Tip: Chip Joyce]

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