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Cold Warrior Against the Mullahs

More on Iran, this time from Sarah Baxter in the Sunday Times. Baxter reports on the U.S. State Department's efforts to promote regime change in Iran, an $85 million per year program led by "democracy czar" Elizabeth Cheney - also known as the daughter of the Vice President:

The war in Iraq is her father’s business but Elizabeth Cheney, the American vice-president’s daughter, has been given responsibility for bringing about a different type of regime change in Iran.

Cheney, a 39-year-old mother of four, is a senior official in the State Department, which has often been regarded as hostile territory by Dick Cheney’s White House team. Nonetheless father and daughter agree it would be better for the mullahs’ regime to collapse from within than to be ousted by force.

The question is whether democratic reform can be achieved before Iran becomes a nuclear power. That is the younger Cheney’s job. In the State Department she is referred to as the “freedom agenda co-ordinator” and the “democracy czar” for the broader Middle East. “She’s fantastic and dynamic,” said a colleague.

Baxter's final graph is also worth quoting:

Father and daughter will be on the same side if Ahmadinejad’s regime sees off its internal opposition and acquires nuclear weapons. “There’s no credibility gap over our willingness to use force,” a State Department official said, “but hopefully it won’t come to that.”