Wednesday, June 24, 2009

President Obama on right track with Iran

Yesterday brought the toughest rhetoric by President Obama to date on the aftermath of Iran’s June 12th election results. In a press conference that was to take place in the Rose Garden, President Obama stated that he was “appalled and outraged by the threats, beatings and imprisonments of the past few days.” When pressed by reporters on further sanctions or policy shift toward Iran for the continual media blackout and treatment of demonstrators, President Obama still left the door open to talk without pre-conditions with Iran leaders.

The major media outlets are confused as to how to react with the message being sent out by the White House. With all the campaigning and continual intimate working with the White House, the major media outlets are pulling punches on their critique of President Obama’s handling of Iran. Yet, some of those gloves may have come off as President Obama was asked for a third time by MSNBC correspondent Chuck Todd on what future sanctions or policy changes will take place in light of recent events in Iran (namely the video of two killings being streamed across the internet). President Obama, obviously perturbed by the repeated question, simply stated that although the media lives in a “24/7 news cycle” he does not.

The President is right on this. American’s have become a society of NOW and forget that some things take time to iron themselves out. Iran is one of those places. The road that President Obama is taking is right on topic. Iran’s top officials have acknowledged that some irregularities did take place during the June 12th election but not enough for a recount or a new election. Although that position may have softened as the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has agreed to allow the Guardian Council an additional five days to review the election results.

Now if President Obama comes out with stern sanctions and stronger words against Iran will only give fuel to Iranian hardliners. The fuel will be in the form of rhetoric that the West is meddling in Iranian affairs. President Obama stated during his new conference that, “They’ve got some of the comments that I’ve made being mistranslated in Iran, suggesting that I’m telling rioter to go out and riot some more. There are reports suggesting that the CIA is behind all this. All of which is patently false. But it gives you a sense of the narrative that the Iranian government would love to play into.”

Recognition of this point is not playing out in our media. Instead of understanding the tight rope President Obama must walk, the media asks if Iranian diplomats are still being invited to the 4th of July celebrations in Washington. President Obama only response was that the United States and Iran do not have diplomatic relations. The response was a shot at the media. The path that President Obama is right on track as the West cannot fan the flames of past actions; CIA intervention.