IRAN: Helping Mahmoud

June 16, 2009

Helping Mahmoud


Iran: The “quiet” U.S. reaction to Tehran’s dubious presidential election speaks volumes. Iranian freedom fighters could use some moral support, but we’re trapped in our own “tough diplomacy.”

Read More: Iran

In his inaugural address, President Obama had a message for the oppressed and oppressor alike. He said, “To all other peoples and governments who are watching today . . . know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.”

He added: “To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

The clenched fist of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in his suspect return to power, has not only delivered a blow to freedom-seeking Iranians; it is also knocking the Obama administration for a loop — primarily because the president has chosen not to stand with Iranians who seek “a future of peace and dignity.”

The administration was obviously rooting for Ahmadinejad to be beaten by his chief rival, former Iranian prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi. The president on Friday, the day of the election, spoke of “a robust debate taking place in Iran” bringing with it “new possibilities” and “the possibility of change.”

How naive those words sound in retrospect. Presidential wishful thinking has crashed head-on into Islamofascist reality.

The administration’s preferred story line apparently went something like this: Moderate replaces hard-liner, Obama and Mousavi hold summit, grand pact results, quelling the Iran nuclear threat and setting the stage for peace to break out through the Mideast.

Mousavi, of course, whose candidacy (unlike so many others) got the stamp of approval of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, is no moderate at all.he vowed during the campaign to continue Iran’s nuclear program.

Moreover, as Thomas C. Reed and Danny B. Stillman note in their newly published history of nuclear proliferation, “The Nuclear Express,” “Pakistan’s A.Q. Khan first began to transfer uranium enrichment technology to Iran in 1987” — in the midst of Mousavi’s 1981-89 tenure in power.

Any Obama-Mousavi version of the Camp David Accords would have preserved Iran’s widely dispersed, tough-to-monitor nuclear program in some form, through which it can produce fuel for a bomb.

With Ahmadinejad winning, sparking demonstrations involving tens of thousands of Iranians and the slaughter of at least one protester by state militia, the U.S. has officially gone strangely quiet.or as Vice President Biden put it on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” “we’re going to withhold comment” for a few days.

Those risking life and limb by taking to the streets against the terrorist enablers who hijacked their country 30 years ago deserve more than withheld comments.

If the president feels as guilty as he seemed to in his Cairo speech early this month about the CIA’s 1953 coup preventing Soviet dominance of Iran, wouldn’t this be the time to support the many millions of Iranian men, women and children seeking a future of peace and dignity?

The president, with all his rhetorical gifts, has chosen a strange time to clam up — obviously hoping that a newly strengthened Ahmadinejad might come to Camp David. Now who’s “on the wrong side of history”?


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