Obama: U.S. Can't Be Foil For Iran
By Garance Franke-Ruta
President Obama spoke with Harry Smith of CBS on Friday about the violence and protests in Iran. Today, CBS put video of that portion of his interview online.
"This is not an issue of the United States or the West versus Iran, this an issue of the Iranian people," the president said in the interview. "The fact that they are on the streets under pretty severe duress at great risk to themselves is a sign that there is something in that society that wants to open up."
Asked specifically about charges that "you haven't been forceful enough in your support for those people in the street," Obama argued for the importance of allowing events in Iran to play out on their own.
"The last thing that I want to do is to have the United States be a foil for those forces inside Iran who would love nothing better than to make this an argument about the United States. That's what they do. That's what we're already seeing. We shouldn't be playing into that. There should be no distractions from the fact that the Iranian people are seeking to let their voices be heard," the president said.
"What we can do is bear witness and say to the world that the incredible demonstrations that we've seen is a testimony to, I think, the -- what Dr. King called the 'the arc of the moral universe.' It's long but it bends towards justice."
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