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Iranian elections

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President Obama just released an official statement a few hours ago:

Short summary: Iranians have the right to pick their own leaders; having said that, he's troubled by the violence and clear signs of repression on the streets; US still can't say with 100% certainty what happened with the vote, because we weren't there; US commitment to "hard-headed diplomacy" will not change no matter what; "I cannot remain silent."

What do you think of that-- is the US responding in the right way? Should we be doing more, should we be keeping out of it altogether?

Personally, I was... more impressed by his statement than I expected to be. Obama had to walk an incredibly fine line here; he couldn't afford to let this go without saying anything, but on the other paw, he also couldn't afford to make it look like he was trying to influence the election himself. He didn't do either, but still made a forceful and substantive statement. I wish he would have been more explicit about his support for the protestors, but I suppose even that counts as "meddling" in some way.

I think this is probably the best move Obama could hope to make. Of he didn't say anything, the government would look apathetic. On the other paw, (thank you for that phrase, Arbutus) if he was to critical of the Iranian government, he would hurt the potential for future diplomacy. Remember, Iran is not some small island nation with a megalomaniac dictator. They have a lot of influence and a lot of power, and they are not that stable. It's not worth antagonizing them, no matter who holds the moral high ground.


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