Monday, June 15, 2009

President Obama "deeply troubled" by the situation in Iran

President Obama gave his comments on Iran this evening:

Obama is put in a difficult place in this instance. On one hand, he must condemn the violence in Iran. It is the right thing to do and the actions of beating and firing on peaceful protesters should always be condemned. Obama also mentions that he is, and the world should be, "inspired" by those who have put forth such energy into the political process. He says that the world is watching and that people's voices should be respected. He also makes mention that the youth in Iran should know that the United States wants Iranians to make decisions for themselves.

This is a very diplomatic answer that expresses support for all of those who participate in the voting process in Iran while not making a definitive statement about the contested results. I think that this is the angle that Obama is forced to play at this moment. If Obama came out in blatant support for the opposition, then Ahmadinejad would simply claim that the opposition forces are being fueled by the United States. Let's also keep in mind that we do not know how this scenario in Iran is going to end. We could be seeing a revolution that could end up toppling the current regime or we could see Ahmadinejad forcefully assert himself and cling to power. Events are simply too unstable at the moment to know how this is going to play out. Obama's statement was pretty much what I expected it to be and I am not really disappointed with the measured tone coming from the administration at this moment.

In other breaking news, Twitter has decided to stay online this evening and not undertake what was scheduled to be routine maintenance. This is fantastic news as Twitter has been vital to the flow of information out of Iran.

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