Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Obama cautious on Iran protests

Obama might be cautious but Mrs. Clinton and most Americans aren't.
They are after Iranian blood. The Iranian opposition is not such a
huge majority judged by voting patterns although tainted by voting
fraud. It cannot be more than 70%. And most of them will not dare take
to the streets against the other 30% that are fanatical Muslims.
Unless the amount of discontent reaches 90% of the population,
demonstrations will not have much effect. Iranian government should
realise this and allow for peaceful demonstrations. If Iranian
government were really Islamic and truly care for the people, peaceful
demonstrations will not affect its power and the Islamic Republic.
A cruel Islamic Republic will only taint the good name of Islam, just
as the Taliban had done. Citizens of the world will not support such a
Republic and this include a lot of justice minded Muslims. If Iran
really hate Israel, it should also treat its people well. Allow
peaceful demonstrations. It will not affect its power base. With its
revolutionary guards, the demonstrators will have no way of taking
over the government.
If excessive force were to be imposed on the demonstrators and
opposition, it will give Israel and USA a pretext to damage Iran. Iran
may not be easy to conquer but Israel and USA can just destroy its
infrastructure just as they had done to Serbia. It will cause
unnecessary hardship to the people of Iran, and thus reducing support
for the Islamic Republic until it reaches over 90%, at which time, no
matter how fanatical the REvolutionary guards, we should not
underestimate the fanaticism of people who suffer from hardship. Just
look at Egypt.

Obama cautious on Iran protests
Obama calls out Iran on suppressing protests
During a news conference, President Barack Obama says the Middle East
should look to Egypt's example as a way to bring about change, rather
than Iran where people are beaten and gunned down for expressing
themselves. (Feb. 15)
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By Scott Wilson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 15, 2011; 2:58 PM
President Obama addressed the Iranian demonstrations Tuesday with a
large measure of caution, calling on Iran's leaders to allow
protesters to express their grievances but stopping short of calling
for a change in government.
This Story
Obama urges Mideast allies to 'get out ahead' of protests,
denounces Iranian crackdown
Egypt economy awaits its lost tourists
Anti-government protests spread through Middle East
Palestinian cabinet resigns as Mideast turmoil spreads
Anti-government protests spread to Iran
Arab League leader says nations shouldn't fear revolts
Anti-government demonstrators clash with Yemeni president's
supporters in Sanaa
ANALYSIS: Obama cautious on Iran protests
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Obama's careful formulation, outlined during a morning news
conference, highlighted the sharp differences between the political
dynamic that his administration faces in Iran and the one that shaped
the recent revolt in Egypt. Obama faced a secular, allied government
in Egypt that had lost broad popular support. But in Iran he confronts
an Islamist regime hostile to American interests and eager to turn any
opposition movement into a proxy for the United States and Israel.
In the final days of Egypt's unrest, Obama aligned himself with the
demonstrators' demand for a new government. With Iran he has not been
so bold. His call Tuesday for Iran's Islamic government to allow
peaceful protest echoed the one he made after the opposition Green
Movement emerged on Tehran's streets in June 2009 following a disputed
presidential election, a response many conservatives criticized as
"We were clear then and we are clear now that what has been true in
Egypt should be true in Iran - that people should be allowed to voice
their opinions and their grievances," Obama said. "What's been
different is the Iranian government's response."
Hours earlier in Iran, a day after anti-government demonstrators
defied a government ban on protests, hard-line lawmakers called for
the execution of three leading reformist and opposition figures, Mir
Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and former president Mohammad Khatami.
In his news conference, Obama continued to focus on the demonstrations
underway and not on his preferred outcome, a balance he also
maintained during the 18-day uprising in Egypt. Only in the final
stage did he align the United States with the demonstrators' call for
President Hosni Mubarak's immediate resignation.
Obama had more leverage in Egypt, where Mubarak had enjoyed American
support and billions in U.S. aid since emerging from the military
three decades ago to lead the country after his predecessor, Anwar
Sadat, was assassinated. There was no such support or funding in Iran,
where the 1979 revolution toppled the U.S.-backed shah and ushered in
an Islamist government hostile to most U.S. interests.
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Obama's caution stems from the same fear that appeared to guide his
response in June 2009: that a clear U.S. call for regime change in
Iran would allow President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to cast the protest
movement as a creation of Western governments and Israel.
"Each country is different, each country has its own traditions, and
America can't dictate what happens in these societies," Obama said,
adding that his administration would lend "moral support to those
seeking better lives."
Obama pointed to the lack of anti-American sentiment that appeared in
Tahrir Square during Egypt's uprising as evidence that allowing
demonstrators to take the lead - without instructions or goals
announced from Washington - was the correct course to take.
The administration is widely expected to follow the same path in Iran,
where the public is more likely to resist any American endorsement of
the protest movement than were Egyptians, whose country is one of only
two Arab nations that has a peace agreement with Israel.
Obama seems to be striking a more cautious note on Iran than his
secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
On Monday, Clinton celebrated the Iranian demonstrations, saying that
she and others in the administration "very clearly and directly
support the aspirations" of the protesters, who advocate an end to
Iran's theocratic government.
Obama on Tuesday endorsed the Iranian demonstrators' right to protest
against their government without explicitly aligning the United States
with their goals.
"My hope and expectation is that we're going to continue to see the
people of Iran have the courage to be able to express their yearning
for greater freedoms and a more representative government,
understanding that America cannot ultimately dictate what happens
inside of Iran any more than it could inside of Egypt," he said.

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