What Obama must do now on Iran
Condemn violence, without picking sides.By Trita Parsi
from the June 22, 2009 edition
Christian Science Monitor
Washington - Tehran is being rocked. Convinced that the landslide victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad June 12 was a fraud, hundreds of thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets. Clashes with security forces have left at least 19 dead, according to the official count.
Meanwhile, some lawmakers have turned Iran's seemingly stolen election into a political football with little regard for the repercussions their rhetoric may have for protesters in Iran.
"The president of the United States is supposed to lead the free world, not follow it," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday, echoing the sentiments of many senators and pundits. "He's been timid and passive more than I would like."
Accusing President Obama of weakness may generate some headlines, but it misses the point. A closer look reveals that the president's approach has paved the way for the current stand-off in Iran and that he is supported by those seeking their rights in Iran.( Collapse )