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US-Iran: Obama’s Tougher Response

Published on: July 4th 2009 14:58:53
Regardless of the pressure the President faces to forcefully criticize the Iranian regime, the Administration is clear that it will once the dust has settled, pursue its policy of engagement with the leadership in Tehran, which they fully expect to be Ahmadinejad in his 2nd term. In the wake of the chaos, initiation of the policy will have to wait. One Administration source told us that it is most unlikely there will be anything undertaken of a significant nature until the fall. Understandably, the scenes of the harsh response by Iranian authorities against the peaceful protests have fueled the fires of congressional opposition on “the Hill”. These criticisms and diverging views on how the President should respond were reflected in this past week’s debate between Senators Joe Lieberman, Lindsey Graham, and John McCain. The current Administration “line” is that it is: “determined to not allow reactionaries to use the U.S. or him as a foil. This is a debate in Iran among Iranians. It is not about us”.  We see no divergence from this position for the near term.

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