It is one thing for members of Congress to lead this effort; it would be quite another thing to get that leadership unequivocally from the President himself. The United States has never had a President whose personal story resonates as strongly overseas as President Obama’s does – whose ability to inspire, to move people, to mobilize them on behalf of democratic change is one of the greatest untapped sources of strength now available to Iran’s human rights activists. If the President were to unleash America’s full moral power to support the Iranian people – if he were to make their quest for democracy the civil rights struggle of our time – it could bolster their will to endure in their struggle, and the result could be historic.
My friends: If there were ever any doubt, the birth of the Green Movement over the past year should convince us that Iran will have a democratic future. That future may be delayed for awhile, but it will not be denied. And now is the time for the United States to position ourselves squarely on the right side of Iranian history – on the side of courageous Iranian reformers like Shiva Nazar Ahari.