The Washington Post story I mention below has this bit of transcription from White House talking points.
His Cairo speech sought to clear the air — in Iran’s case, by acknowledging the U.S. role in the 1953 coup that toppled the democratically elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. Translated into Farsi, the speech was delivered to Iranians in real time through a State Department-sponsored text-messaging service.
Come on. I hear this all the time from liberals. Not only was the mention of Mossadegh in Obama’s speech part of a silly bit of moral equivalence between America’s behavior in 1953 and Iran’s ongoing sponsorship of terrorism right now but it was entirely unoriginal. It didn’t “clear the air.” Madeleine Albright officially apologized to the Khatami for America’s role in the Mossadegh overthrow in 2000. What air was left to clear? Also, it always struck me as a bit tone deaf since the regime loves to harp on Mossadegh’s overthrow as a way to make it seem like they, as lovers of democracy, were horrified by the coup, which is of course nonsense.
More to the point, who was this supposed to mollify? The Iranian regime certainly didn’t care about America’s previous apology. And as for the Iranian population, the majority of which was born after the 1979 Revolution, never mind after 1953, are we really to believe that this is a burning issue? Did the Iranians really take to the streets in any significant numbers because America “came clean” on something that happened nearly 60 years ago? Yes, yes, they have long memories in the Middle East. Blah blah blah. I’m not saying it was necessarily entirely irrelevant, but let’s save the Profiles in Courage encomniums for Obama’s brave slaughter of house flies.