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How Obama should handle Iran
Should the U.S. stand up for Iran's reformist uprising, or avoid the appearance of meddling?
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f President Obama turns his back on Iran's uprising, said Bret Stephens in The Wall Street Journal, America will have blood on its hands. As "Holocaust denier and nuclear aspirant" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad steals a second term as Iran's president, reformists are being arrested as a sham recount looms, and "the possibility of an Iranian Tiananmen hangs in the air." Right now, U.S. support could be the protesters' only hope.

Meddling in Iranian politics would be a mistake, said David Ignatius in The Washington Post, because it "would give the mullahs the foreign enemy they need to discredit the reformers." Obama's best bet is to continue reaching out to the Muslim world, and let the millions of people there who "hunger for change" realize their dreams themselves.

Obama could lose either way, said Sue Pleming in Reuters. "Strong criticism could backfire, but a muted response leaves an impression of weakness." The controversial reelection of Iranian President  Ahmadinejad has already strengthened the resolve of U.S. conservatives opposed to Obama's conciliatory foreign policy in the region—but if Obama stands up for the reformists and the ruling mullahs hold fast, the U.S. can forget about making progress in talks to contain Iran's nuclear program.

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