In yesterday’s speech on Middle East policy, you rightly demanded Syria stop shooting demonstrators, release political prisoners, stop unjust arrests, and allow human-rights monitors access to the country. A portion of the speech also condemned Qaddafi. But although you acknowledged that Iran brutalizes its people, sponsors terror, and maintains an “illicit nuclear program,” you failed to make any demands whatsoever of the regime that is the most troublesome influence in the region. In fact, you made only perfunctory mention of Iran, despite the fact that just last week, the Bushehr nuclear plant became operational, and reports surfaced that Iran may be constructing missile bases in Venezuela.
Why did you make demands of Syria but not Iran? Is Syria of greater strategic concern to U.S. and regional interests than Iran is? Is Ahmadinejad less of a concern than Qaddafi? Does your administration concede an Iran with nuclear weapons? What is your administration’s position on Iranian missile bases in the Western hemisphere?
Bonus questions: Why has your administration spent far more time publicly lecturing/condemning/admonishing Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu than it has Iran and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
In an address touted by your administration as a major speech on the Middle East, how could Iraq – where thousands of brave Americans died to accomplish their mission — merit barely a paragraph of reference?