The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008

Archives

Foggy Bottom

Obama to Iran: 'Stop All Violent and Unjust Actions'

Updated 2:51 p.m.
By Glenn Kessler
President Obama reacted to the unfolding events in Iran by issuing a statement calling on the government of Iran to "stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people."

The White House said the president had been monitoring the situation during the day, meeting repeatedly with senior advisers. But the statement largely echoed the president's measured response since the election crisis began a week ago.

"The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching," the president's statement said. "The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights."

The president has not yet said whether he thinks the election was stolen but he hinted at that with a reference to "truth" in the later part of his statement.

"Martin Luther King once said -- 'The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.' I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples' belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness," the president said.

The president also linked the response of the Iranian government to this crisis to its desire for a greater role in the region. "If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion," the president said.

Posted at 2:37 PM ET on Jun 20, 2009  | Category:  Foggy Bottom
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in Del.icio.us | Digg This
Previous: Obama Defends New Consumer Financial Agency | Next: Obama Takes the Girls For Frozen Custard


Add 44 to Your Site
Be the first to know when there's a new installment of The Trail. This widget is easy to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry on The Trail.
Get This Widget >>


Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Mr. President on this a measured response is appropriate. We know who carries the big stick-- and we have time on our hands to watch this play out. "Happy Father's Day to you"! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsYQ1YA_a1M

Posted by: Victoria5 | June 21, 2009 5:13 PM

question:

"The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights."

i, too, applaud the Prez.
However, we have the Bill of Rights that outline the above. Everyone knows, correct?
Are these universal rights? That would mean....applicable to all nations on the globe, correct?

is that written down somewhere...
in the universal/global ballpark?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | June 21, 2009 2:58 PM


President Obama doesn't have to do jack right now.
He has said all he should say on the matter. Keep it humanitarian for the time being. Tomorrow is another day.

Get on the phone to Yushenko from the Ukraine-what did he do when this took place in 2004 with the Orange Revolution. Just to keep HIS security up.

However, if anyone should step up to the plate. It's House Of Saud.
It's your region. They are your people--in a theoretical way (around said region).
Acknowledge the change that is coming in the most basic way you can. House of Saud has the perfect platform here.
End the suppression. Don't care if you are Islamic, Christian, Tribal, etc. etc...
The suppression must end. Criminey, you don't even really really have to open the door to "democracy" (perse)---just stop the suppresion.

Now....WaPO....if I change my location on my profile to Tehran, what will happen?

Heard they have "detained" a Newsweek reporter.

And do you really think only 19 are dead?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | June 21, 2009 2:31 PM

The situation in Iran must be allowed to play out. Outside interference will not help, it would take the focus from the true issues and redirect it. This will play into the hands of the Iranian govt.. Pres.Obama is responding correctly at the present time, the tendency to want to take some action is natural but not always wise.

Posted by: saw1 | June 21, 2009 10:11 AM

Obama to Iran stop it or you are going to double dare us into backing down...

Posted by: jimwhite1 | June 21, 2009 8:29 AM

It is wise that Iran shall resolve election votes disputes by itself peacefully.

There will be vote recount if necessary.

It is time now for Iran to move on, get over it, rebuilding Iran.

World leaders, including Pakistan and Afghanistan hail Ahmadinejad win amid Israel fury
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/articles/34/World_leaders_hail_Ahmadinejad_win_amid_Israel_fur.html

U.S., Britain both fund broadcasts in Iran.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iran-broadcast-box19-2009jun19,0,3346998.story

VIOLENT PROTESTERS ARE TERRORISTS.

US and Britain are supporting terrorists in Iran.

What is the difference between these protesters in Iran and Hamas in Palestine, same fighting for justice ?

Posted by: fan2lee1 | June 21, 2009 7:32 AM

After President Obama went all over the world making his speeches, giving those who heard him the impression that he was going to be the President who delivers them from the hardships they lived through because of Bush and this country, he took a back seat to the world in coming out and condemning Iran. President Obama has made it plain more times then once, that everything is a global effort, with universal rights and freedoms and now he says what's happening in Iran is an internal problem that must be handled by the Iranians. No one is expecting more from President Obama then what this country has stood for which are basic rights and freedoms. Look how long it took President Obama to speak about that. In fact he waited until the world spoke up before he even started flexing his muscles. After the world spoke up, President Obama step up from behind to the front once again making speeches because he feels it's safe to do so. President Obama is so concerned in not making a move unless it's a global effort that when the safety and security of this country is at stake he's not going to know what to do. President Obama said the world is watching, stop the violence, but the world is also watching President Obama. It's not so easy passing the buck to the world when your the President of this country. I believe it's call leadership. Stepping up from behind to the front with more speeches are not what the world expects from a President who promised so much from the reset button and smart power. Playing it safe all the time gives the wrong impression to our allies as well as to our enemies. Is that smart power at work?

Posted by: houstonian | June 21, 2009 6:57 AM

Wow, I bet the mullahs are just quaking in their boots after such a strong riposte! Looks like we can add spineless weasel to Comrade Barry Hussein's growing list of ignominious titles.

Posted by: jpost1 | June 21, 2009 6:20 AM

Bush's "democracy in Iraq" stunt was all about access to the oil and about hurt pride. Intervention in Iran would be the same thing all over again.

Remember "Saddam's nukes" too were a politically-convenient chimera? How many Iraqis died, were tortured, were made refugees for Bush's vanity? Kudos to Obama for not falling into the same trap. Ahmadinejad and Khamenei (who for the present blames the UK, not the US) are only waiting for the US to run interference, in order to clamp down on the reformers' attempts at "slightly modernizing" the Islamic Republic.

And McCain, who not so long ago wanted to "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran", is now suddenly siding with its predominantly-young civilians? He didn't exactly win the Vietnam war single-handedly, or at all, at the time either, did he.

Baiting Obama now with clamors for his interference is all about propping up the US's own ancien regime, its military-industrial complex; the resultant greed for other people's oil reserves, and its willingness for OTHER PEOPLE to lose their lives so that the US can puff itself up even more. Wouldn't it be nice to have the Persian oil fields too for the "war on terror" which isn't going too well? And sell that too as imposing "freedom and democracy" from far away, without listening to the locals and to what THEY want exactly, and why?

One doesn't exactly envisage McCain learning written and spoken Farsi now, just as he didn't learn Dari or Pashto, or Arabic (or for that matter, Vietnamese). For him it's all about telling other people(s) what to do again, without as much as consulting them. But he lost.

We do not know whether there was really electoral fraud in Iran. We do not know whether they really want nuclear bombs, as distinct from civilian nuclear energy, to which they are entitled. We do not know ENOUGH. We do not know what the majority of the Persians want, and we are blinded by our greed for oil and our "superiority complex". We in the West are also bust financially and militarily. People everywhere have a right to civil disobedience. But we cannot pre-empt or pre-determine what the Persians want: It's not our place. We in the West have done the Middle East quite enough harm.

Posted by: jochebed | June 21, 2009 4:15 AM

?????????????
Defensible as any statement does not help our people. Be political pressure to KHAMENEII and Iranian leaders. I know of course it is unlikely ( the form of support).
Because its brings to them a huge risk.
!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: zemestoon52 | June 21, 2009 2:26 AM

BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA'S APPEASEMENT FOREIGN POLICIES WEAKEN THE U.S.; HE SIDED WITH IRANIAN BRUTAL REGIME!!!

Coward liar Barack HUSSEIN Obama "Apologist in chief", how can he keep his nonsense promise during his campaign, that is, negotiating with U.S. enemies such as North Korea and Iran, which have never respected any treaty with U.S., especially when North Korea just launched many missile and nuclear tests and planned to fire missile toward Hawaii, not mentioning illegally arrested and sentenced two American journalists Laura Ling and Eunu Lee to twelve years of labor, while Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an extremist who called for Israel to be wiped off the map and denied the holocaust, was just re-elected by fraud. Is Obama going to bow to Kim Jong Il and Ahmadinejas as he did to King Abdulla of Saudi Arabia to gain his peace deals? Is he willing to convert to Islam, his Kenyan father and Indonesian step father's religion, to meet Osama Bin Laden's requirement that in order to end the Iraq war, U.S. troop withdrawal is not enough, Americans must reject their democratic system and embrace Islam? Just recently, Obama said that he would support Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy with rigorous inspections, giving a green light to Teheran's ambituous uranium enrichment program, which can be used for its discreet nuclear bomb development program as well, without suffering sanctions and economic isolation as it currently endures. Does Obama want Iran to become another North Korea using its nuclear power to terrorize the U.S and its allies? Worst still, Obama refused to show support for pro-democracy protesters and denounce the brutal regime for the deaths of seven demontrators, fearing to be seen as interfering in Iran's internal affairs so that he could not pursue a nuclear deal with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's supreme leader. In fact, Obama sided with the regime, citing that there was not a bit of difference between the two candidates, a moderate Mir Hossein Mousavi and hardcore extremist Ahmadinejad. A big mouth for change at home, he does not want to see any change in Iran. Is he going to turn a blind eye to another Tianamen Square massacre committed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard? As for a Palestinian state demanded by Obama, it will undoubtedly soon become a TERRORIST state under control of terrorist militant group Hamas, which is the most powerful and popular force with its goal to destroy Israel and which won a majority seats in the current Palestinian National Authority in 2006 election and ousted Fatah militant group of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas of Gaza in 2007. Last but not least, Obama ordered to stop waterboarding tactic used by CIA, even it worked well on terrorist suspects like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-describer planner of 9-11 attacks who provided CIA with valuable information, preventing more 9-11 attacks and saving thousands of American lives.

Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | June 21, 2009 1:32 AM

the two nations making the biggest stink about the election are the same ones that overthrew Iran's democratically elected government in 1953 because they wanted to control the oil. Obama has zero credibility. - Posted by: WylieD

Hear, hear!

Posted by: pKrishna43 | June 21, 2009 1:28 AM

powerange wrote: "First of all, the military instrument of national power is only one instrument which you imply I promote....you are wrong. The leader of the most powerful country in the world has other options. The economic instrument has been an effect tool in some scenarios....our President took that off the table."

When did he take that off the table? Did he lift any sanctions? What are you talking about?

powerange wrote: "He is showing weakness by not entertaining other options and it will be seen by the rest of the world as weakness...clear now?"

Not in the least. Don't tell me you still think the Bush Bluster actually got something done in the past 8 years. Obama, just by giving speeches, has done more to weaken our enemies than Bush ever did using all the tools except diplomacy.

powerange wrote: "I don't advocate military action, but I also wouldn't let the rest of the world know it's not an option.....it's call foreign policy and is VERY foreign to our President."

So you don't want to advocate action just threaten it? That is NOT foreign policy. Its called cowboy politics and I think its not been shown to work very well. Look, Iran is not threatening the US yet you want to put a military option on the table and call it "foreign policy"? Are you insane? Why don't you just sit back and let the adults handle things for a while.

Posted by: bevjims1 | June 21, 2009 12:50 AM

It is wise that Iran shall resolve election votes disputes by itself peacefully.

There will be vote recount if necessary.

It is time now for Iran to move on, get over it.

While young Iranians take to the streets calling for change, many European companies active in Iran are quietly hoping the country resolves the crisis soon.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124546202284733521.html

World leaders hail Ahmadinejad win amid Israel fury
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/articles/34/World_leaders_hail_Ahmadinejad_win_amid_Israel_fur.html


It is obvious that the US tried to stir things up by interference through Internet and cell phones with the propaganda supporting democracy for the Iranian people.

Israel with unbreakable bond with the US likes to see Iran to go down.

Obama is a jewish puppet in Washington DC.


Economic and sexual freedom is not available in Iran. Jobs and sex are hard to get. Most of the protestors are young and hot. They cannot afford the cost of dating a woman or buying a harlot. They need money to relieve their sexual frustrations. The wisest thing for the government is to import prostitutes and subsidize them. It will help the young deal with their frustrations. Ayatollahs are standing in the way. They are keeping the pretty women for themselves and labeling as infidels needy young men.


Only a few thousands from 70 millions people in Iran protesting will not change the system !

Wisely, Obama should focus on domestic unemployment and rising gas price instead, and not to sweep those two things under the carpet .!!

Posted by: fan2lee1 | June 21, 2009 12:35 AM


So what do you suppose would be the response of the authorities if a couple thousand people burnt cars, stoned cops, and screamed "Death to the dictator" in downtown D.C.?

Posted by: WylieD | June 21, 2009 12:23 AM


What a ridiculous gasbag.

The world's two most populous nations have already congratulated Ahmadinejad, as have Russia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Venezuela.

Meanwhile, the two nations making the biggest stink about the election are the same ones that overthrew Iran's democratically elected government in 1953 because they wanted to control the oil. Obama has zero credibility.

Posted by: WylieD | June 21, 2009 12:17 AM

DaTourist,ekim53;

When I am about to something, I always ask myself,'Would an idiot do this?'. If the answer is 'yes', I do not do that thing.

Please heed this philosophy before you post.

Posted by: Godhimself1 | June 20, 2009 11:57 PM

"""Thank you, Mr. President. Your weakness is now truly evident. Maybe you should sit down with the tear gas guy and give him health care for free...yea, that'll do the trick...Amateur Hour is continuing longer than most of us thought possible. Your words will be your legacy of the Presidency. Your lack of action will follow you the rest of your life. Get a backbone."""

Posted by: powerange""
??????????????????????????

power-angie,

Your hatred is clearly evident. Please be aware that this hatred stifles your potential intelligence.


Posted by: Godhimself1 | June 20, 2009 11:27 PM

Dariush1:

All of the world is with you. May peace find Iran one day soon.

Posted by: Godhimself1 | June 20, 2009 11:16 PM

funny, how the same people who wanted to bomb Iran a few months ago now are claiming to know whats best for the opposition.

Iranian dissidents have made it clear that the US should keep a low profile because there is still great suspicion..(after all we did work to overthrow their democratically elected gov for oil back in the 50s).

Imagine had we attacked Iran as the Neo-con wished.. This protest movement would not even be happening. The people would have likely united around their leader as most do during time of war.

Posted by: case3 | June 20, 2009 11:11 PM

The crowds are of such size that their “movement” is beyond the point of no return. The violence now being perpetrated on them will turn these demonstrations into a full fledge and bloody revolution.

http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2009/06/new-dawn-for-iran.html

Posted by: JamesRaider | June 20, 2009 10:41 PM

Remember that weak teacher in junior high school who always blustered, and never did anything, and the kids just kept on talking and throwing paper?

Wasn't his name Barack Obama?

Posted by: DaTourist

-----------
And of course 8 years of saber rattling and unilateralism under the Cheney/Bush administration accomplished a whole lot with Iran and North Korea.

Posted by: dldbug | June 20, 2009 10:37 PM

fan2lee1:

I salute you!

Making sure all those horny young men get a job and sex is a great idea!

We can't even get government health care in the States. Imported government sex workers? Top that Holland!

Here's to quietly resolving the crisis and getting everybody laid.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | June 20, 2009 10:03 PM

Why should Iran shut down its nuclear program? It was only a few years ago that the American president delivered a speech naming Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as an "axis of evil." It was a nice pithy applause line and the president followed it up by invading the one of the three least able to defend itself, and handed its chief executive over to a lynch mob.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 20, 2009 10:02 PM

OBAMA, I WANT MY VOTE BACK!

Posted by: iamafg | June 20, 2009 9:49 PM

Bush spent $2,000,000,000 trillion dollars to hand over Iraq to Iran's Shiite Mullahs

Obama spend $0 of our money to make a speech in Cairo, Moderates in Lebanon has taken the power from extremist. Now Iranians are trying to defeat the Mullahs on their own initiative.

Obama's contribution is literally "PRICELESS"

Posted by: SeedofChange | June 20, 2009 9:48 PM

It is wise that Iran shall resolve election votes disputes by itself peacefully.

There will be vote recount if necessary.

It is time now for Iran to move on, get over with it.

While young Iranians take to the streets calling for change, many European companies active in Iran are quietly hoping the country resolves the crisis soon.

It is obvious that the US tried to stir things up by interference through Internet and cell phones with the propaganda supporting democracy for the Iranian people.

Israel with unbreakable bond with the US likes to see Iran to go down.

Obama is a jewish puppet in Washington DC.


Economic and sexual freedom is not available in Iran. Jobs and sex are hard to get. Most of the protestors are young and hot. They cannot afford the cost of dating a woman or buying a harlot. They need money to relieve their sexual frustrations. The wisest thing for the government is to import prostitutes and subsidize them. It will help the young deal with their frustrations. Ayatollahs are standing in the way. They are keeping the pretty women for themselves and labeling as infidels needy young men.

Only couples thousands from 70 millions people in Iran protesting will not change the system !

Posted by: fan2lee1 | June 20, 2009 9:41 PM

powerange said:

"The economic instrument has been an effect tool in some scenarios....our President took that off the table."

He did? When were economic restrictions on Iran removed?


Posted by: JohnQuimby | June 20, 2009 9:28 PM

bevjims1...sorry to offend you...perhaps I should have been clearer. First of all, the military instrument of national power is only one instrument which you imply I promote....you are wrong. The leader of the most powerful country in the world has other options. The economic instrument has been an effect tool in some scenarios....our President took that off the table. He is showing weakness by not entertaining other options and it will be seen by the rest of the world as weakness...clear now? I don't advocate military action, but I also wouldn't let the rest of the world know it's not an option.....it's call foreign policy and is VERY foreign to our President.

Posted by: powerange | June 20, 2009 9:10 PM

bevjims1 said:

"Unlike Obama's predecessor, Obama knows the USA cannot force democracy on people. They must want it first then want to fight for it. It seems the Iranians have reached that stage. Now its up to them without our interference, which is what the hardliners are praying for right now. Obama is smart not to give it to them."

Exactly. But even more so, Obama has consistently delivered a subtext that says he's ready to end the 30 year stalemate between Iran and the west - a situation that has crippled Iran.

Bush sent two aircraft carrier battle groups into the gulf and re-deployed nuclear armed B-52's in range of the region. These threats played directly into the hands of the hardliners.

By offering to remove these threats, Obama has put the US in direct opposition to everything the regime says is necessary to defend Iran from American aggression.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | June 20, 2009 9:09 PM

No, it's not that they "have" nukes. It's that they have oil. It's the same old "weapons of mass destruction" story, which is the same as crying "Wolf!", or "The sky is falling, I sell umbrellas!"

Posted by: ElMugroso | June 20, 2009 9:03 PM

"Phew, glad the President now feels obligated to say words. I'm sure they will make a difference...whoops, just got work the death toll is higher. Think we need more words. Loser foreign policy when you only consider using the diplomatic instrument of national power and take the others off the table."
Posted by: powerange

Just what did you have in mind? Do you want to send the 6th fleet? Do you have a clue as to how bad that would be for the protesters? Iran's "leaders" have only one true enemy and that is the Iranian people. Most of those people do not trust the USA.

Sticking our noses in their business will only strengthen the current leadership. Obama is doing a fine job of walking a fine line. If you want to commit our armed forces then say so. Otherwise you are promoting nothing more than what BushI did spurning along the Iraqis to overthrow Saddam then watching them be slaughtered by satellite. Either propose getting involved or support our fine line approach, but don't propose offering encouragement with nothing behind it. Words are cheap.

Posted by: bevjims1 | June 20, 2009 9:02 PM


This is all a "side show" when you get right down to it.

The key issue with Iran is their Nukes.

If one guy wins or the other makes very little difference, they're not very different.

The USA's focus needs to remain on getting Iran to end and dismantle its Nuclear Weapons Program.

That's the thing with respect to Iran that really matters to the US in terms of our national security.


Posted by: CentristView | June 20, 2009 8:54 PM

Potato --

Did the WP really fire Froomkin?

What's the back-story?

Posted by: CentristView | June 20, 2009 8:53 PM

Violent and unjust is not the strong stance taken by Mousavi and Grand Ayatollah Montazeri. I'm ready for martyrdom and to certify these results is a lie. The Supreme Guide keeps backing lies, he won't be the Supreme Guide for long with more revered Ayatollahs not backing him without a change in course. Crackdowns on martyrs funerals will turn the clergy against him, and every day videophone postings prove the government lies as well as inform the public. DSL internet connections are virtually impossible to stop, so the information and truth will continue to flow. The best case scenario is one where Montazeri with Rastafani's blessing as next in line is voted by the Supreme Council to become the Supreme Guide replacing a backer of lies. It appears old school totalitarian crackdowns only foment more protest in the information age. The religious thugs and Revolutionary guards have the guns, but the people have the numbers. Just like our own revolution harsher crackdowns get the fence sitters over to the protesters side. The army has looked like it may back the senior ayatollahs over Khamenei as political promotions get battlefield warriors angry and there are many of those.

Posted by: jameschirico | June 20, 2009 8:41 PM

"The whole world is watching..."?? what's that supposed to mean to the likes of A-Jad and his buds? And do they care? They're probably laughing as were the Correspondents recently entertained by PrezBo...he apparently is quite a comic. He is also quite unable to perform on the World stage where it actually matters. The Leader of the Free World is afraid to make a forceful statement and take a stand with the Iranian People! The Iranians are willing to die and are dying for their cause...PrezBo hasn't the courage to be part of their cause. Some "mentor" he is. Of course he hesitates not when it comes to meddling in the affairs of Israel! Good Luck Iran ! I respect your courage and I'm embarrssed by our "leader's" weakness. But rest assured our leader is salivating to talk to your dictator as soon as enough of you are killed to quell this current uprising. I'm sure you will welcome him with what...open arms? Try again after 2012, perhaps we'll have a President then.

Posted by: Gypsy1 | June 20, 2009 8:38 PM

So Paris1969, "...saving his words until there was clearly violence against the protesters..."
"At least 19 people died after clashes erupted Saturday in Tehran as Iran's security police used tear gas and clubs to beat back demonstrators. Unconfirmed reports put the death toll as high as 150."
Phew, glad the President now feels obligated to say words. I'm sure they will make a difference...whoops, just got work the death toll is higher. Think we need more words. Loser foreign policy when you only consider using the diplomatic instrument of national power and take the others off the table.

Posted by: powerange | June 20, 2009 8:35 PM

I appreciate Obama's dilemma since no matter what happens in Iran the US will do nothing. And, when its over, one way or the other, we must be able to negotiate with whomever is in power. Obama needs to think of the USA first. Its his job, and that is what he seems to be doing. The Iranian protestors don't need empty messages of support from Obama. They already got an empty message of support from Congress. They are doing just fine. The republicans need to understand that the USA does not manage every conflict in the world and the USA is not responsible for saving every situation. This is up to the Iranians to figure out.

Anyone who remembers the revolution in 1979 knows it couldn't last without the state maintaining a heavy hand. And anyone who knows history knows that cannot last long. We are watching history but we cannot steer it or have much influence. Most Iranians still do not trust the US and Mousavi is no friend of the west. Just because people are rioting against the Iranian regime does not mean they love the USA. This is an Iranian fight. All we should do is sit back and hope true democracy takes hold.

Unlike Obama's predecessor, Obama knows the USA cannot force democracy on people. They must want it first then want to fight for it. It seems the Iranians have reached that stage. Now its up to them without our interference, which is what the hardliners are praying for right now. Obama is smart not to give it to them.

Posted by: bevjims1 | June 20, 2009 8:35 PM

When Our Beloved Leader is railing against banks, or the stock market or the US health care system, he throws all caution to the winds but when he is asked for comments about the thuggish Ahmadinejad and the mullahs who have a proud people living under a tyrannical islamist government, he is overcome with sensitivity for the feelings of the tyrants. After all that has occurred, Obama would gladly meet with Ahmadinejad next week- if there are cameras and a teleprompter there.

Posted by: mhr614 | June 20, 2009 8:28 PM

A lot of you will disagree, but I think the reason for the uprising is because the Iranians know that the Iraqis got to vote for their leaders. And Bush helped make this possible. I think President Obama is doing the right thing letting this unfold and saving his words until there was clearly violence against the protesters.

Posted by: paris1969 | June 20, 2009 8:24 PM

Right after the Iranian ayatollahs cease all their unjust behavior toward the Iranian people, will those ayatollahs then voluntarilty surrender their advanced nuclear weapons program?

Will Obama's passivity lead inevitably to Israel making pre-emptive strikes on the Iranian nuclear installations, simply because there's no hope of American intervention, and every sign that Obama will bargain Israel's security with the Arab world?

Posted by: DaTourist | June 20, 2009 8:21 PM

What do Republicans do? They would do what Bush senior did; he encouraged Iraqis to go out and protest against Saddam in 1991, then sat back and enjoyed the show while Saddam killed thousands of Iraqis. You people make me sick. If you are ready to go to Iran and fight for Iranians' freedom and give your life in the name of Democracy for another country, accept my apologies, otherwise, you are sick.

Posted by: jalehw | June 20, 2009 8:18 PM

thegreatpotatospamof2003 -
NAILS IT!

And then there's this...

- Obama is the reason the Iranians are in the street.

- The current dictator was picked as hard line opposition to Bush policy. The Bush "Axis of Evil" label allowed the mullahs to clamp down on democratic freedom in the name of nationalism.

- Obama has publicly challenged the leaders in Iran to engage in peace talks, which is the last thing they want to do.

It seems they have a problem because Obama has translated "Yes We Can" into farsi.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | June 20, 2009 8:17 PM

While the President has been "warning" the Iranians, dozens have died. Yup, words, just words. Weakness abounds and the world is watching him...using only his diplopmatic instrument of national power is a loser strategerie and the rest of the bad actors in the world have taken note of his lack of consideration of the other instruments. Sorry, sorry foreign policy.

Posted by: powerange | June 20, 2009 8:17 PM

Given the United States' past history of meddling in Iran, and given the deep complexity of the current situation (hint: it ain't necessarily the white hats vs. the black hats in terms of candidates) our President is acquitting himself like a statesman. The White House statement today was on point. He has to work with whoever winds up on top, but he has to let the current regime know we're watching them critically. If you haven't read this already, Iranian state television today, in a transparent attempt to discredit the protesters as American stooges, showed a DUBBED video of Obama which had him expressing support for Mousavi! Enough said.

Posted by: elizabeth12 | June 20, 2009 8:17 PM

'Stop All Violent and Unjust Actions'

Who was his teleprompter talking too?

"Iran is a small country and a threat to no one". Who is this empty suit talking too?

Posted by: ekim53 | June 20, 2009 8:15 PM

Since Obama will do nothing, and since Iran knows Obama will do nothing, shouldn't Obama have just kept quiet and let the Iranians suffer their oppression with dignity?

Did Obama's silly and empty demands do anything to help the Iranian people?

Will the ayatollahs actually cease all their unjust behavior now?

Will pigs fly over Chicago?

Will the murder rate for Chicago school children go down this year?

Posted by: DaTourist | June 20, 2009 8:14 PM

Darn ideological brainwashing to the USA people. Day and night CNN is winding and rewinding the same videos, patched up, even with clips from an old movie in which some arabs bury a lady in a hole and start stoning her. Or are they hebrews acting according to the laws? Who knows and what does it matter. It INFLAMES people's minds, with HATE, and only last week they were complaining of HATE CRIMES. This is morbidity at its best at CNN, and other brain-washing stations. But CNN is number one on this one.

Posted by: ElMugroso | June 20, 2009 8:11 PM

Remember that weak teacher in junior high school who always blustered, and never did anything, and the kids just kept on talking and throwing paper?

Wasn't his name Barack Obama?

Posted by: DaTourist | June 20, 2009 8:10 PM

The whole world is lucky to have Barrack Hussein Obama as President of the United States. I cringe at the thought of what if...

Posted by: jalehw | June 20, 2009 8:06 PM

This is exactly the right response-- to unambiguously stand behind a people's right to assemble and protest, and to condemn a government's brutality toward its own people. To make a public speech calling on the Iranians to revolt would be to throw a flailing regime a lifeline. They are desparately trying to attribute this legitimate revolt to a case of foreign intervention. So far, Obama hasn't taken the bait.
Anything the US does should be behind the scenes (see Ignatius' 6-19-09 column for examples).

Posted by: ablum1 | June 20, 2009 7:57 PM

Let's stay out of it. Not in our interest to get involved, contrary to what the 5 people who own the media say.

Would we have wanted foreigners involved in the 2000 US election?

Posted by: justamerican | June 20, 2009 7:49 PM

Obama's demand the Iranian regime "stop all violent and unjust actions" would have more moral credibility if he ended United States military, which often involves violence, intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of innocent civilians in both countries have "accidentally" been killed as a result of military actions.

Hopefully Obama will be consistent the next occasion when Israel forcefully cracks down on the Palestinians, invades Lebanon or Gaza, and asks their government to "stop all violent and unjust actions." Don't count on it though and the neo-cons would have a fit if he did.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | June 20, 2009 7:48 PM


I have a very fine set of shelves in my living room. On the top shelf I have items of great honor and admiration, like a picture of Abraham Lincoln. On the second shelf, I have great literary works. On the third shelf I have my Mad Magazine collection from the 60s and my Playboys are on the bottom shelf. Today I took my Obama figurine off of the top shelf and put it next to my Bush figurine on the third shelf. Of course I wouldn't Obama on the fourth shelf with the Clinton figurine, which is laying face down on the Playboy magazines.

Posted by: hipshot | June 20, 2009 7:35 PM


If we support one side, both sides will hate us.

President Obama's comments were the strongest he could make given the realities of the situation.

America can't afford to take its eye or its mind off the issue of Iran's Nuclear Weapons program, which is a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States Of America.

If we do nothing, Iran is garenteed to finish its prototypes and start up its production line.

They can crank out a lot of bomb fuel and a lot of bombs with the infrastructure they have in place.

Scientists and Engineers are worried about Iran's Nuclear Weapons Program.

If the guys who understand the details of the technology involved are worried, you should be too.

I sincerely hope that President Obama is able to convince the Iranians that they should dismantle their Nuclear Weapons Program, and that if they don't he needs to be prepared to do whatever it takes, short of Nuclear Attack, to completely destroy every last bit of Iran's Nuclear program and the Infrastructure used to support it.

The world can't afford to let Iran get into mass production of Nuclear Weapons.

Its not very complicated.

Unless you're rooting for the terrorists, or, even worse, shilling for them.

Posted by: CentristView | June 20, 2009 7:13 PM

Some of the commenters here are so ignorant, so blind with their own smug self-righteousness that they ignore reality at their peril.

This uprising, is being played out on the streets of Iran, but also on Twitter, Facebook, iReports, and other social networking sites. Read them, join them, and you will be in for an education.

There is NO current leader in the West what-so-ever who is mentioned but Obama, and he is looked at as nothing but their inspiration. And these comments aren't coming from pinko commie liberal socialists, but the people on the streets of Tehran.

Get a #grip. The reactionary right wing of this country is so out of touch, y'all might as well be living on Pluto.

Posted by: ethanquern | June 20, 2009 7:00 PM

If ya put a wig and high heels on Obambi, he could be Aretha Franklin or Tina Turner, Stop in the Name of Love, RESPECT. but only half as pretty and definitely frequently annoying, which the 2 ladies have almost certainly, very likely never ever been in their sweet darling lives.

The prollem with Obambi curled lip and grandiose rhetoric is it will be great if it works, but looks ridiculous when it falls flat and he looks like he is flailing around.

I noticed his great success in wresting the freedom of Aung San Suu Kyi for instance, no, gee, ya surprise me. What a huge shock. And Sudan? No, there too, oh, shockers, really, shockers.

Very clearly, Messiah Obambi got an eye on his Bring down this wall moment and let's face it, that was a great line. We can say it was Yeltsin, or the labor unions or the church groups, but all the Repubs have to do is play the line and everyone thinks it was Ronnie.

Yeah, so when the Iranian republic eventually changes, we can play the great Obambi tape and when Kim dong Il finally stops sending missiles to Hawaii, we can play the great Obambi tape.

Till then, we have to deal with Obambi grandiosity and its go nowhere ness.

In fack, pretty sure this stupid crackdown happened becoz Obambi thought he would mouth off and be grandiose. Ban Ki Moon said the right thing, the people's will should prevail.

Obambi should say something like this is a good time for the institutions of a country to show their resilience and strength and find a solution that will satisfy the people. Ouch.

That does not have the zinginess of Bring down this wall. Unfortunately Moussavi is now blabbing about being a martyr, that is a big mistake, we don't need more martyrs buddy, especially not from the mid east.

He the former prime minister, start working a compromise feller. This is going over a cliff and looking stupid and ugly.

Ditto with the Kim dong Il, Obambi grandiosity is gonna cost us. Instead of saying, We won't Let him, and the Russkis and Chinese chuckling and saying Exactly How, Obambi shoulda said, Kim is a Chinese tool and we ask the Chinese to kick his butt. Or politely, that our friends in the region should play a major role in returning the Norks to the international community.

We gonna pay for Obambi ineptitude and attention horfing.

Grandstanding gonna cost us our standing.

Posted by: MinnieB9 | June 20, 2009 6:38 PM

coloradodog posted:

I'd rather have an amateur responding for the US than an adolescent.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In Obama, you have both.

It matters to Obama that the world is watching him. The current Iranian regime has a different agenda. Obama's words are meaningless and useless.

Saying that his milquetoast response is measured and intelligent is just more Obama idolatry. We can't afford to let our government fail right now, but refusing to admit what a mistake the voters made in November is just pretending the elephant in the parlor is a pet.

Posted by: nlynnc | June 20, 2009 6:32 PM

Obama really has Ahmadinejad on the run now. Actually, Obama is not succeeding in one area of foreign policy, or domestic. N. Korea, Israel Iran, he ineffective and useless in his policies. Meanwhile, the U.S. has thrown democracy out and the Democratic Party id destroying our future with unsustainable debt. These Democrats are dispicable and intolernt Marxists.

Posted by: lclifton | June 20, 2009 6:23 PM

Mr. President. Too Little, Too late. Trying to play Johnny come late after everybody else already supported the opposition make you look like a fool.

Posted by: AlbyVA | June 20, 2009 6:21 PM

After so many years of kneejerk bluster, it is quite refreshing to have a measured response coming from the White House.

Posted by: gregguevara | June 20, 2009 6:06 PM

Count this reader among those who think President Obama is handling this crisis just right. Thank you, Mr.President.

Posted by: martymar123 | June 20, 2009 5:54 PM

Well, Mr. Hussein Obama, in addition to leaving on a regular basis, misleading and misrepresenting your agenda, your friends, your birthplace and God knows what else, now you tell Iran to "... govern through consent, not coercion." You, sir, in addition to all your other charms, are a simple hypocrite. Did you not coerce on banking, automobiles, health care, first amendment, second amendment, ... ad nauseum? I think so, a
---------
You could just as well make a statement he's pink, too, for all the support you've given your assertions.

I mean, it just doesn't fly, and intelligent people know this -- and by that, I mean the people who know enough to understand WHY Rush is a stupid kook.

The WAPO fires Froomkin, and keeps Krauthammer and Kristol.

Problem is, 30 years into this republican revolution, the average person on the street now understands the neocons are stupid gasbags -- unfortunately those who comprise the movement, like all non thinkers, haven't grapsed this fact (is, you're dumb).

But the Post is suffering with low numbers, and can't figure out how to survive in this age of new media. Where is the future, who are the new readers? What are the trends? And they listen to some corporate shill rather than advocate as real journalists (which was Froomkin crime, btw, I guess corporate press people aren't familiar with real journalism, anymore). This month's Vanity Fair has an editorial about this very subject.

Real journalists sell papers, strengthen the country and the government; think-tank kook like Krauthammer weaken it, like an AIDS virus chipping at the immune system -- they write what they're told, but they in no way intelligently or honestly challenge those who harm the infrastructure, in fact they enable those who would destroy the nation, that is, Cheney. Cheney's methods were Stalinesque. I fully expect Krauthammer to come out and say, "Well, a little Stalin would be good for America in the war on terror." !?

See, a government like Stalin's, and the WAPO, function through press image or corporate image, not TRUTH, and at the very least, an educated man should know the difference.

And the inability to determine, much less deal with TRUTH does them in, every single time.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | June 20, 2009 5:28 PM

Would the US government allow our KosKids to riot in the streets and burn buildings for a week running and not crack down?
I don't think so.
The KosKids in the streets of Tehran are a tiny fraction of Iran's population.
And those spoiled pampered university kids should suddenly get to call the shots for the majority?
I don't think so.
Mousavi called himself the winner two hours into the voting and then called his KosKids to riot in the streets before the polls even closed.
Is that democracy?
I don't think so.
Are all those KosKids tossing molotov cocktails really fighting for justice?
I don't think so.
It is long past time for the US to butt out of Iran's internal affairs.
Is Obama now to rule the world like he thinks he can rule US?
I don't think so.
No, I don't think so at all.

And finally for the KosKids of Tehran I'll just quote J. Lenin:
"You say you want a revolution?"

Posted by: jthandbook | June 20, 2009 5:15 PM

Would the uprising in Iran have happened had Obama not made his major speech in Egypt?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=5573


.

Posted by: usadblake | June 20, 2009 5:12 PM

An aside: which Iranian announced Akhmedinezhad's victory about 3 hours after the polls had closed, and 46,000,000 hand-marked ballots had been "officially counted"--also tallied by hand-count? Nothing a theocracy promotes resembles objective realities, regardless of the theocratic brand. Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and any existent theocracy share the view that the "sacred tales and writings" of the founders of that religion somehow overcame the "natural laws of nature"; therefore the tenets of the religions often discount "the ways of the universe". Today's fundamentalist-Moslems, world-wide, sexist, un-educated, madrassa-trained, rationalize and reinforce their beliefs that they're "above natural law" as they repetitively kill infidels (and their Moslem brethren)--for the 82-virgin heavenly reward. Pardon a value judgment: no matter where in this world you are, no matter what one's beliefs may be; if the term "barbarian" fits, you then wear it (not proudly).

Posted by: marc85 | June 20, 2009 5:05 PM

Well, Mr. Hussein Obama, in addition to lieing on a regular basis, misleading and misrepresenting your agenda, your friends, your birthplace and God knows what else, now you tell Iran to "... govern through consent, not coercion." You, sir, in addition to all your other charms, are a simple hypocrit. Did you not coerce on banking, automobiles, health care, first amendment, second amendment, ... ad nauseum? I think so, as do millions of Americans from all parties that can still spell "freedom, liberty and democracy." Since you don't seem to know these words, please add them to your vocabulary and use them the next time you talk to Iran. Real Americans and millions of Iranians would appreciate it.

Posted by: scientist2200 | June 20, 2009 4:49 PM

Leave the Iranian peoples problems to them to resolve.. in other words, the US should start minding it's own business!!!. And to you Republi-nuts who want want to bring Freedom and Democracy to Iran, all you need to do is purchase a ticket, fly to Iran and express your opinions... better yet, sign yourself or your children up for a mercenary force and go fight for the Iranian people... yeah, let's see how many of you cowardly republican dogs will do that.

Posted by: VietVet68 | June 20, 2009 4:39 PM

Limbaugh's Lemmings bash Obama as if George the Dumber had ever done anything about nukes in Iran or about Ahmadinejad.

I'd rather have an amateur responding for the US than an adolescent.

Posted by: coloradodog | June 20, 2009 4:38 PM

President Obama also gets my vote on this.

With our domestic issues that are 'center stage' and all else that needs taking care at home a " measured response" is just about right.

Walking a fine line is absolutely important. www.vernasmith.com

Posted by: Victoria5 | June 20, 2009 4:34 PM

Whatever the result in Iran has little to do with O'Bama's words, good/measured as they were. In Iran's 30 year theocracy it is the intellect/demeanor of all, especially of the various stages of the under-30 Iranians, which will make/break what is looking a bit like another revolution of the moderate Moslem intellectuals' mind-set--a few decades late; better late than never. This step into to the 21st-century may well extend beyond Iran's borders: as Chauncey Gardner once said, "I like to watch." It should be quite a show--possibly inter-border civil war, maybe everybody against everybody else. The Red Crescent may be busy.

Posted by: marc85 | June 20, 2009 4:27 PM

Excuse me, but the American government wanted so badly to get the intractable Pres. Ahmadinejad out of the way that they have stirred via the media and pressure on our few remaining allies to make him the Devil Incarnate (sound a little Bushy?) The Italians, British, Irish, French, etc. and even the Perfect and Innocent that we Americans are, have ALL broken up anti-government demonstrations with police and left a number of dead bodies along the way.

So Ahmadinejad got 62.3% of the vote he says. As we saw in 2 elections, you don't have to go 12.2% over an absolute margin to steal an election. It is certainly conceivable that there was some fraud at the polling places. There seems to be that in most "democratic" countries, but until the blah blah dies down leave these people to choose their own fate under the system they deserve.

Obama is certainly keeping cool, because he knows Ahmadinejad will be the President. The CIA and the broken Mrs. Clinton (may she get well) continue to throw stones from our glass house in hopes that when she runs for Pres. she won't have to deal with Pres. Ahmadinejad.

Meanwhile, keep the pressure from Netanyahu under control, face the Iranians as essentially anti-Americans - and deal with them as a great president and diplomat would: carefully, firmly, with at least a superficial attempt to grasp and understand who and what they are and have been and deal creatively, boldly with that. It's been a long time since we had major elected official who weren't just bright ward heelers who rose through the ranks. Let's hope President Obama can rise to the very difficult occasion. Iran and a myriad of other difficulties give him the opportunity to be a great failure or a great success!

Posted by: anonymot | June 20, 2009 4:19 PM

I did not vote for Obama and in large measure I do not like his domestic policies at all. I don't however have any problem with the above statements about the happenings in Iran right now. I think those that criticize it are grasping at straws. I mean, there are a lot of better and more substantive areas to criticize - namely his wreckless healthcare plan, the trillion dollar budget deficit that his "stimulus" is generating, his taking over of the auto industry, his inexcusable firing of the Americords IG who was investigating into the misuse of funds by the mayor of Sacramento (an Obama supporter).

I think in general, Obama's foreign policy actions have been okay (not great, but certainly not terrible). In fact, he doesn't seem markedly different from the previous administration. I know that statement pisses of all of the libs out there, but it's true. You all wanted "change" and all Obama has done is "tweak" GWB's foreign policy and wrap them in totally different packaging. I have to say - Obama is a savvy politician if nothing else.

ABO 2012 - "Anybody but Obama"!!!

Posted by: jsypal | June 20, 2009 4:18 PM


Blah blah blah, and the violence in Muslim countries will continue regardless. These people are simply of a different breed. They apparently cannot evolve beyond their current state.

.

Posted by: Billw3 | June 20, 2009 4:15 PM

This is all a "side show" when you get right down to it.

The key issue with Iran is their Nukes.

If one guy wins or the other makes very little difference, they're not very different.

The USA's focus needs to remain on getting Iran to end and dismantle its Nuclear Weapons Program.

That's the thing with respect to Iran that really matters to the US in terms of our national security.


Posted by: CentristView | June 20, 2009 4:13 PM

chazz60: You have demonstrated what you know about Iran: nothing. You and all the pathetic Repubs, demanding a response, are either ignorant of or ignore the most important fact in US-Iranian relations: 1953. You probably don't know it, but every Iranian knows that in 1953 the CIA overthrew a DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED prime minister, Mohamed Mossadegh, and installed the Shah and his brutal secret police, Savak.

What if that had happened to your country? You for sure would remember it, and you would be distrustful of that other country. Just as the Iranians are of us today. No wonder Obama and anyone who knows anything about Iran was calling for restraint. And anyone who doesn't wasn't.

The time for ignorance in foreign policy is over.

Posted by: stevec3 | June 20, 2009 4:02 PM

It will be interesting to see how the both groups of Iranians respond.

----------

It is, fundamentally, an internal matter.

Obama can only offer his support for an Iranian government that works toward the recognition of human rights and civil, international participation.

It's important to support the more intelligent people of Iran, certainly, but anything other is a demand to buy into kook Iranian codependency, and well, other than being strategically unsound, that's just mentally unhealthy, now, isn't it?

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | June 20, 2009 3:58 PM

Thank you, Mr. President. Your weakness is now truly evident. Maybe you should sit down with the tear gas guy and give him health care for free...yea, that'll do the trick...Amateur Hour is continuing longer than most of us thought possible. Your words will be your legacy of the Presidency. Your lack of action will follow you the rest of your life. Get a backbone.

Posted by: powerange | June 20, 2009 3:58 PM

If the President can get Iran to end their Nuclear Weapons program he'll have the respect and admiration of all Americans and the entire world.

Lets hope he can nake it happen.

Posted by: CentristView | June 20, 2009 3:50 PM

chazz60,

It's lucky for us that the President and the administration blocks out the truly pathetic politically-motivated criticism of yourself and other Republicans and instead rightfully places the best and most effective interests of both those protesters clamoring for justice and the United States' strategic security above all consideration.

The Iranians have said, Ahmedinejad is like Bush and Mousavi is like Obama. It is clear that the Iranians see the president as a symbol of hope and reject the interference and self-interested proclamations of "support" of people who think like you, who are so blind to complexities and loyalties and different cultural understanding of the world beyond your own world view.

Every day I count my blessings that McCain was not elected, and that the Republicans can no longer endanger the security interests of the United States by their ignorance of world cultures and damaging bravado.

Posted by: caramel3 | June 20, 2009 3:50 PM

Mr. President

George W. Bush stole his second term, whole the world was watching and laughing with the recount in Florida.
Did it change anything? NO.
So let Iran do his intern affairs and let the CIA shut up.

Posted by: casteels | June 20, 2009 3:47 PM

Very well put Mr. President, treading the fine line between sympathetic response to the Iranian people and strengthening the authoritarian leadership.

Posted by: redavis369 | June 20, 2009 3:46 PM


The key issue we have with Iran is to get them to end and dismantle their nuclear weaapons program.

That's more important that proving that we can rebuke someone.

The President didn't really have a choice.

He had to make an announcement like this one.

It will be interesting to see how the both groups of Iranians respond.

Posted by: CentristView | June 20, 2009 3:45 PM

Now when we are fighting the government in the streets in a time when the police has no fear or shame for shooting straight on us, this is very pleasing to see that the world is watching us, we need it, it gives us hope to continue and not to feel alone, Thank you Mr.President, and thanks all the people caring about us.

Posted by: Dariush1 | June 20, 2009 3:45 PM

It's a really frustrating situation, but I believe the adminstration is handling it with the correct balance of wisdom and force.

This approach will best serve the interests of the courageous Iranian citizens clamoring for justice. Already, the state run media is seeking to blame the US and say these citizens have been trained by the US to cause disruption.

The President's words have seized the mantle of morality and justice and the Iranian government will not have any legitimacy in its desires to discredit it.

Posted by: caramel3 | June 20, 2009 3:43 PM

"...President Obama reacted to the unfolding events in Iran by issuing a statement..."

CORRECTION: The lead for this story should read:

President Obama reacted to his drop in the polls regarding his total silence on events in Iran by issuing a glorious statement

Posted by: chazz60 | June 20, 2009 3:42 PM

It's good to be concerned about human rights in other countries, but wise to refrain from doing that which might backfire. The US is not well liked by Iranians in general. One does not want to give Ahmadinejad the excuse of "foreign interference". By the same token, it is hard for anyone to argue that a comment by a President asserting the importance of tolerance in general constitutes interference.

Posted by: Martial | June 20, 2009 3:25 PM

Mr. President,

I applaud your "measured response" and appropriate comments on the unfolding demonstrations in Iran.

Truly the world is watching...and judging.

One cannot respect any Government, which does not respect its own people.

Please continue..."Stay steady at the helm", you're doing a terrific job.

Tom

Posted by: thomaswlott | June 20, 2009 3:24 PM

Thank you Mr. President. You are doing a great job. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: DC2Amsterdam | June 20, 2009 3:16 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2009 The Washington Post Company