Magazine July 20, 2009, Issue

Our Common Foe

Tehran, June 20, 2009 (SIPA)
Obama should support the Iranian people by speaking out against their oppressors

Tear gas was still wafting through the streets of Tehran when, at a June 23 White House press conference, The Huffington Post’s Nico Pitney conveyed an Iranian’s question to President Obama: “Under which conditions would you accept the election of [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad? And if you do accept it without any significant changes in the conditions there, isn’t that a betrayal of what the demonstrators there are working towards?”

Obama avoided a direct answer, saying only that the Iranian government should “recognize that there is a peaceful path that will lead to stability and legitimacy and prosperity,” and expressing hope that the

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Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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