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On Iran, Obama Changes Tone, Not Strategy

By Ben Pershing
President Obama called his press conference yesterday for a reason, and the headlines from the event mostly reflected the message he wanted to project -- he's taking a tougher stance against Iran. But beyond that basic point, there was a wide variety of opinion on how significant Obama's statement really was and how much difference it will make at this stage of the Iran showdown.

Tough talk aside, "Obama refused to threaten any consequences and stopped short of freezing a major foreign policy goal: wooing Iran into diplomatic contacts over its nuclear program, its support of Islamic militant organizations and other contentious issues," the Los Angeles Times reports. Roger Simon accused Obama of delivering "another Goldilocks performance. ... He can't be too hot -- there can be incredible repercussions both at home and abroad regarding anything he says and how he says it -- but he can't be too cold." Critics of Obama's past Iran comments, who were pleased by the president's initial statement, were unhappy with what came next. "Obama's made the least out of his strong opening statement on Iran," Fred Barnes complains. "Having used the word 'condemn' -- for the first time -- and 'appalling' as well, the president followed up mostly with mush."

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By Ben Pershing  |  June 24, 2009; 8:44 AM ET
Categories:  The Rundown  
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Is there a dime's worth of difference between between Iran's various factions?

I remember when the late Grand Ayatollah arrived from Paris as millions of Iranians swooned as if it was the dawning of the age of aquarius.....including Mousavi, Rafsanjani, Khatami et al.

Others shook their heads in disbelief....that this crazy old ascetic was going to govern a modern state. The current crop of Ayatollahs isn't much better.....arguing over lovers holding hands in the streets or the proper length of a chador....

....the obstacle to freedom is Iran's theocracy...

Posted by: toritto | June 24, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

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