It took many days before any real words of condemnation came from the President concerning the courageous actions of the Iranian freedom fighters (read protesters) who are demonstrating against their country’s fraudulent election.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Dramatically hardening the U.S. reaction to Iran’s disputed elections and bloody aftermath, President Barack Obama condemned the violence against protesters Tuesday and lent his strongest support yet to their accusations the hardline victory was a fraud.
Obama, who has been accused by some Republicans of being too timid in his response to events in Iran, declared himself “appalled and outraged” by the deaths and intimidation in Tehran’s streets – and scoffed at suggestions he was toughening his rhetoric in response to the criticism.
He suggested Iran’s leaders will face consequences if they continue “the threats, the beatings and imprisonments” against protesters. But he repeatedly declined to say what actions the U.S. might take, retaining – for now – the option of pursuing diplomatic engagement with Iran’s leaders over its suspected nuclear weapons program.
“We don’t know yet how this thing is going to play out,” the president said. “It is not too late for the Iranian government to recognize that there is a peaceful path that will lead to stability and legitimacy and prosperity for the Iranian people. We hope they take it.”
Obama borrowed language from struggles throughout history against oppressive governments to condemn the efforts by Iran’s rulers to crush dissent in the wake of June 12 presidential elections. Citing the searing video circulated worldwide of the apparent shooting death of Neda Agha Soltan, a 26-year-old young woman who bled to death in a Tehran street and now is a powerful symbol for the demonstrators, Obama said flatly that human rights violations were taking place.
“No iron fist is strong enough to shut off the world from bearing witness to peaceful protests of justice,” he said during a nearly hourlong White House news conference dominated by the unrest in Iran. “Those who stand up for justice are always on the right side of history.”
I applaud his language on this, I just wish he would have done so sooner in support of overthrowing this ruling, barbaric regime. Support from America is key in pushing this forward and exacting real change during this time of unrest.
America needs to stand for freedom and liberty in the world, we should not be timid about it. Many Iranians have probably looked next door to Iraq and have watched that country become a functioning democracy which, perhaps, has inspired some of this outrage. The Iraqi democracy may be a big part of pushing Democratic reform throughout the Middle East.
I only hope the people of Iran can push hard enough against the iron fist of tyranny.