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Another Missed Opportunity on Iran

6:59 PM, Feb 11, 2010 • By JAMIE FLY
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As Bill Kristol notes at the Washington Post, Vice President Biden couldn’t be bothered to express any support for the Iranian opposition the night before the Green Movement’s largest protests in months.  It appears from various reports that the tens of thousands of protesters that turned out today faced a well-prepared security apparatus and regime supporters bused in from outlying areas.  Visit for reports, photos, and YouTube videos from today’s protests including this one of a poster of Khamenei being torn down to cheers and honking car horns:

And this one of the security forces beating a man on the street:

On the one issue Biden did express concern about last night, the nuclear issue, he acted as if there was no need for immediate concern.  Hours later, Iranian President Ahmadinejad announced that Iran was a “nuclear state” and said the country had the ability to enrich its uranium to weapons-grade if it wants to.  At the White House and State Department briefings today, Robert Gibbs and Philip Crowley went to great lengths to question Ahmadinejad’s assertions.  A Washington Post article today about the nuclear program appears to be largely based on administration leaks intended to undermine Iranian assertions about their accomplishments. 

The administration’s public statements on Iran in the days leading up to today’s protests have been shameful.  One wonders whether they might be more successful if instead of playing rhetorical games with the Iranian regime, this administration was focused on rallying international support for and implementing those “crippling sanctions” they used to threaten if Iran did not accept President Obama’s outstretched hand.

All in all, another missed opportunity to stand on the right side of history and support the protesters who represent the best chance for resolving the Iranian nuclear crisis.

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