Thousands of anti-government demonstrators took to the streets as the Iranian regime marked the 30th anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. Pro-government demonstrators at the annual anti-U.S. rallies chanted "Death to America!" while opposition marchers, braving a police crackdown, denounced President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, shouting, "Death to the dictator!" Is the U.S. doing enough to support Iran's opposition? (Watch Iranian police clash with protesters)
No, Obama turned his back on them: The "Green Revolution lives on," say the editors of The Wall Street Journal, so why isn't President Obama supporting Iran's anti-government protesters, instead of sitting back and saying, "We do not interfere in Iran's internal affairs"? If Obama wants to restore America's moral leadership, he has to stand up for the people braving police batons and tear-gas canisters.
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Obama expressed his support cleverly: Sure, Obama said he wouldn't interfere, says Scott Lucas in Enduring America, but he also put the Iranian regime on notice that its future will be bleak unless abandons its nuclear dreams and addresses its people's cry for justice. And, in a direct comment on Iran's internal politics, Obama linked Iran's 1979 embassy takeover to his desire for a new relationship based on mutual respect -- "extremely clever."
The U.S. needs to do more: "Iran is at a tipping point," says Hossein Askari in Foreign Policy, and "the United States should seize this opportunity -- not only by tackling the issue of nuclear enrichment, but also by raising governance issues with the Islamic Republic." The mullahs have lost all credibility. Propping them up by pretending they're legitimate -- so we can win a nuclear deal -- will backfire by alienating the Iranian people and the rest of the Muslim world.
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