- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
Given the agency’s, er, controversial past in the country, the best thing the CIA can do for the cause of regime change in Iran right now is probably to stay as far away as possible. But CQ‘s Jeff Stein reports that the U.S. intelligence community is looking to take advantage of this week’s situation:
Iran’s political crisis provides the CIA with an opportunity to provoke the defection of Iranian military, intelligence and diplomatic representatives abroad.
(After the Soviet Union crushed the "Prague Spring" in 1968, Czech officials defected in droves to the CIA.)How it handles a similar scenario now, and the possible windfall of inside information on the Iranian leadership and its nuclear program, will be far more beneficial than clumsy attempts to manipulate the protests sweeping Tehran.