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SSC


Admin
Hopes for U.S.-Iran Ties Imperiled by Election Turmoil, Analysts Warn
The restoration of U.S.-Iran ties is thrown into doubt, as the Iranian government blasts the Obama administration for criticizing it and the regime's legitimacy is forcefully questioned.

FOXNews.com
Sunday, June 21, 2009
The chaos in Iran stemming from last week's disputed election may ultimately crush any hopes the Obama administration has for engaging the country in the near term, insiders and analysts warned.

Since taking office, President Obama has tried to reach out to the Iranian public and government, declaring that he's willing to engage any regime that will "unclench" its fist -- Iran was a primary target of that message.

But while Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad acted unreceptive to the overture before, the government is behaving flat-out hostile now that the U.S. administration is criticizing the Iranian regime for its crackdown of pro-reform demonstrators. And analysts warn that regardless of Ahmadinejad's stance, Obama may want to reconsider his engagement aims since Ahmadinejad's legitimacy as president has been thrown into question.

Barring a regime change, the restoration of U.S.-Iran ties looks very much in doubt, analysts say.

"This is obviously the wrong time to be sitting across the table from representatives of this government, let alone offering them incentives," said Kristen Silverberg, former U.S. ambassador to the European Union. "I think that anything like that right now could really take the wind out of the sails of this reform movement. This is really the wrong time," she said.

Silverberg said Obama should "revisit" his engagement goals and instead talk with European allies about tightening sanctions against the regime.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., on Sunday accused Obama of "stubbornly" holding onto the belief that negotiations with the current regime are the best way forward.

But U.S. officials privately concede that the turmoil in Iran has created an irrevocable setback for engagement.

Observers see the nail in the diplomatic coffin as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's hard-line speech Friday, in which he demanded opposition leaders end protests or be held to account for "bloodshed and chaos" -- U.S. officials viewed that address as "stunning" in its stridency and authoritarianism.

The regime is forcefully asserting its authority, and defiantly rejecting any international criticism of the way it is battling protesters on Iran's streets. Though GOP critics say Obama is not showing enough support for the protesters, the Iranian regime already is accusing the United States of meddling.

On Sunday, Ahmadinejad reportedly warned the United States and Britain to "correct" their "interfering stances," insisting that they "will not be placed in the circle of friendship with the Iranian nation" given their leaders' remarks.

According to an Iranian government Web site, Iran's parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, on Sunday also accused the Obama administration of "opportunistic and imperialistic gestures."

"You exposed the deceitful meaning of change very soon," he said.

Larijani reportedly called the stances of the United States and its allies "shameful" and urged the government to reconsider ties with European nations that have spoken out against the regime. The United States and Iran do not have ties.

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., said it's "totally improbable" that Iranian leaders would call a meeting with U.S. officials in light of the turmoil -- but he said the United States should not take direct talks with Iran off the table.

"We would sit down because our objective is to eliminate the nuclear program that is in Iran," he told CNN's "State of the Union."

Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, said regardless of what happens, the United States cannot walk away from its demands on Iran to cut ties with Hamas and Hezbollah and abandon its alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons.

But he acknowledged the hardship the United States will have in attempting to engage the current regime at this point.

"If Ahmadinejad turns out to be the victor, it's going to be very difficult for the United States to sit across the table and see him as the legitimate ruler," Turner said.

gypsy


Moderator
I watched face the nation this morning..all republicans say he should be tougher ,tougher how? it was funny to see McCain trying to establish we are the people of the worlds savior,so what action would he take, he couldn't answer that. never gave what he would do.I think we should tend to our on business
we have enough to contend with, stay out of the protests.
McCain stated that our government standards should apply to all countries, I think that borders on dictatorship~ or conquering. we should tend to our on back yard~ every country should have their on agenda.we can not rule all countries. many questions could be asked,as to why we didn't get involved with Africa's conflict, or Venezuela's?? many other countries?just my opinion/thoughts

SSC


Admin
If you read another post I put, It shows the US has a large investment in trade with Iran. Maybe McCain wants to protect our trade and investments ??

gypsy


Moderator
ok I had not seen that one you posted.,I will read it~, McCain kept saying we should interfere,(in Iran) but never stated how~ so I will read the other post you made~

SSC


Admin
GOP Lawmakers Press Obama to Take Tougher Stance on Iran
Though the White House released a written statement Saturday in which President Obama used his strongest language to date to condemn what he called a "violent and unjust" government crackdown on protesters, critics say he needs to show more leadership on the issue.

FOXNews.com
June 21 2009
President Obama needs to step off the sidelines and stand up for Iranians who are protesting last week's election and challenging the authority of the country's theocratic regime, Republican lawmakers said Sunday.

Though the White House released a written statement Saturday in which Obama used his strongest language to date to condemn what he called a "violent and unjust" government crackdown on protesters, critics say Obama needs to be personally out front on the issue.

They worry that the U.S. president has not extended clear and firm moral support to the protesters who have flooded Iran's streets over the past week despite the regime's threat of an even bloodier crackdown. Already one official death count is reported to be at least 17.

"The president of the United States is supposed to lead the free world, not follow it," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on ABC's "This Week." "He's been timid and passive more than I would like."

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the president's opponent in the 2008 election, said Obama should "be stronger than he has been" with Iran and suggested European heads of state were showing more leadership than Obama on the issue.

"I think we ought to have America lead. When you look at the statements by President Sarkozy, Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Brown have been much stronger. We should lead. And I also think he should point out that this is not just an Iranian issue. This is an American issue -- what we're all about," McCain said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

He said he's not in favor of "sending arms" or "fomenting violence," but that the United States needs to "be on the right side of history." Protesters view last week's election as rigged.

Both McCain and Graham said Obama was moving in the right direction with his written statement Saturday but needs to do more.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., told "FOX News Sunday" that Obama, in person, needs to address the Iranian and American people -- he called the election backlash a potential "game changer" in Iran which Obama should leverage.

"This president is a great orator. This president needs to come out, he needs to speak to the American people, but more important he needs to speak to the people of Iran, the people of the Middle East and he has to make a forceful statement on behalf of the people on the streets for freedom and democracy," Hoekstra said. The top Republican on the House intelligence committee said Obama needs to follow up on the groundwork he laid with his recent address to the Muslim world in Cairo.

There is an inherent risk, though, in aligning too publicly with the protesters in Iran. The White House and some Democrats argue that speaking out too vociferously against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the ruling clerics will only give ammunition to the regime and allow them to cast the opposition as a U.S.-backed uprising.

"I think the president is handling a rapidly evolving, very complex situation about as well as you can expect," said Evan Bayh, D-Ind., member of the Senate intelligence committee. "He has put us clearly on the side of the reformers, clearly on the side of fair and free elections, clearly condemned the violence. But he's done it in a smart way.

"This regime is rapidly losing legitimacy with its own people. ...We should not let them change the narrative to one of being meddling Americans," Bayh told "FOX News Sunday."

Though Obama was playing golf on Sunday, Father's Day, he also met privately for more than 30 minutes with foreign policy advisers in the Oval Office to discuss the Iranian situation. He expressed concern about the violence and "unjust actions" in the country, according to an aide.

"He's got a very delicate path to walk here," said Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn. "You don't want to take ownership of this."

Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran analyst and associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said Obama erred by suggesting in an earlier interview that there is little difference between Ahmadinejad and opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi. But he said the concern that American rhetoric could be used against the protesters is legitimate.

"I think this regime is looking for the United States to step into this trap so they have the license to slaughter the Iranian people and accuse them, you know, of being American," he said.

But critics of the administration's careful approach say the regime will accuse the U.S. of meddling no matter what. Indeed, Ahmadinejad warned the United States and Britain Sunday to "correct" their "interfering stances."

Hoekstra said Obama is "stubbornly" holding onto the belief that negotiations with the current regime are the best way forward and suggested this is a critical opportunity to influence the makeup of the regime that will eventually control an arsenal of nuclear weapons -- something he described as inevitable.

"The regime is going to accuse us of meddling whether we do or whether we do not say anything, but if we're going to do something we should speak out," Hoekstra said.

As lawmakers in Washington debate how to approach the Iranian unrest, and where it will ultimately lead, the crackdown does not appear to abating.

State media reported that authorities arrested the daughter and other relatives of ex-President Hashemi Rafsanjani -- an Ahmadinejad foe. And according to Reporters Without Borders, Iranian authorities have arrested 23 journalists and bloggers since post-election protests began a week ago.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the protests have "unmasked" the true nature of Iran's repressive regime.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

SSC


Admin
McCain is obviously not the only one expressing concerns at Obama's lack of forcefullness.

gypsy


Moderator
I didn't see one thing to state what he (McCain) or anyone else would do~
so what toughness would be suggested? sanctions ?Why should we lead the free world i have never understood that? doesn't that cause more conflict?

SSC


Admin
The US is suppost to be a major power in the world, we have always been strong leaders, why would you not understand that is our position ?

rosco 357


Veteran
clearly obama is in a catch 22 here, Ahmadinejad is already saying we are meddling in there affairs, and using us for his advantage, really noting we can do, and the republicans are saying we are not doing enough maybe a touch of politics here, mayybe not, , so a catch 22, but what ever we say only makes the bad guys in iran stronger claiming its an american caused protest, so this time i feel obama should stand as he is doing, really nothing he can do, now if the protesters grow, and we see the police and military start to crack as they did in russia with Yeltsin we should do more if we can, its a tough call, no doubt.

gypsy


Moderator
SSC wrote:The US is suppost to be a major power in the world, we have always been strong leaders, why would you not understand that is our position ?
//why should it be our position? no i don't understand. also nothing was said as to what those compalining would do? Obams took a firm stand and voiced his thoughts on the violence should stop, I don't see much else we should do~ at least some Republicans are agreeing with obama~ in my arricle the head of the GOP i think supports Obamas decison on we should not meddle..

gypsy


Moderator
rosco 357 wrote:clearly obama is in a catch 22 here, Ahmadinejad is already saying we are meddling in there affairs, and using us for his advantage, really noting we can do, and the republicans are saying we are not doing enough maybe a touch of politics here, mayybe not, , so a catch 22, but what ever we say only makes the bad guys in iran stronger claiming its an american caused protest, so this time i feel obama should stand as he is doing, really nothing he can do, now if the protesters grow, and we see the police and military start to crack as they did in russia with Yeltsin we should do more if we can, its a tough call, no doubt.

I agree Rosco~ very smart thoughts,I agree also with Obama

rosco 357


Veteran
gypsy wrote:I didn't see one thing to state what he (McCain) or anyone else would do~
so what toughness would be suggested? sanctions ?Why should we lead the free world i have never understood that? doesn't that cause more conflict?

oh we should be leaders of the free world, we are the only super power left, but now in iran nothing we can do, iran has had sanctions on them for years, from the UN, any words we spew only hurt now,we should step in where we can but there is no where to step here,so we wait and watch, is about all we can do and im repeating myself, ur post seems to be we should be an isolationist nation, that does not work, but again noting we say can help iran, nothing, only hurt till things unfold.. if there were something we could do or say to help i would not take this approach, but what can we do, as was stated, no one on tv had an answer to that,

gypsy


Moderator
no i don't think we should be an Isolationest (ms) nation, but i think we should not fight other countries battles ,we need to clean up our on first ~we can't dictate to every country.

rosco 357


Veteran
gypsy wrote:no i don't think we should be an Isolationest (ms) nation, but i think we should not fight other countries battles ,we need to clean up our on first ~we can't dictate to every country.

ur wrong on that, and there are to many time for me to post, but i will just post 2 , if we did not fight others battles, sadam would be sitting in Kuwait making nukes with the addition of buck off kuwaits oil, and south korea would not be a free nation selling kias and hyundias, and really to many examples to continue,, we have to protect the weak where we can if possible, probably some better examples i am missing,

gypsy


Moderator
rosco 357 wrote:
gypsy wrote:no i don't think we should be an Isolationest (ms) nation, but i think we should not fight other countries battles ,we need to clean up our on first ~we can't dictate to every country.

ur wrong on that, and there are to many time for me to post, but i will just post 2 , if we did not fight others battles, sadam would be sitting in Kuwait making nukes with the addition of buck off kuwaits oil, and south korea would not be a free nation selling kias and hyundias, and really to many examples to continue,, we have to protect the weak where we can if possible, probably some better examples i am missing,
ok i see your point to a degree, I think if they ask for our help, yes, butit seems like we our pushing our ways on other countries, protect the weak yes~ but how long can we keep doing this? Saddam was the wrong person to go after ,he was not responsible for 9/11, but don't want to go there.I believe in helping other countries, but sometimes it is better to not meddle. remember there was no evidence of nukes being made by Saddam.

rosco 357


Veteran
i was only speaking of kuwait and what sadam could do with the bucks off kuwaits oil as he said kuwait was actually part of iraq, , but i do think iraq is a much better nation now, but we shall see, im out of here, lol

gypsy


Moderator
I don't know if they are better,(Iraq) i hope so still lots of turmoil there, and when our troops leave will it revert back? like you said we will just have to see, Good night Rosco, enjoyed the debate and info LOL

rosco 357


Veteran
i read once there are more murders in the usa than in bagdad, nite

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