Liars, hypocrites, morons, and terrorist supporters at CNN are in support of murdering mullahcracy.
— Pardes Seleh (@PardesSeleh) December 30, 2017
The left dictates what will and won't be a thing. This just shows them for what they are.@CNN stand with the murdering mullahs. Iran freedom revolution will steamroll over them. https://t.co/Hw6l98A59G
— Pamela Geller (@PamelaGeller) January 1, 2018
Two US presidents on two Iranian crackdowns
Stephen Collinson Profile
Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN:
(CNN)When protests erupted in Iran in 2009, then-President Barack Obama reacted cautiously, concerned that a forceful intervention could make America — reviled as the “Great Satan” by Iranian revolutionaries — a rallying cause for the clerical regime.
Eight years on, with demonstrations and violence breaking out again in Iranian cities, the US position is reversed, with President Donald Trump and his team almost gleefully leaping at the chance to line up alongside Iranian protesters.
In one of his first tweets of the new year, Trump was openly rooting for regime change.
“Iran is failing at every level despite the terrible deal made with them by the Obama Administration. The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!”
The sharp change of tack reflects the gulf in the intellectual and temperamental approach of the last two presidents and illuminates a dispute between rival schools of foreign policy thought about how the US should act and wield power in the world.
It is consistent with the hard line Trump has taken toward Iran, muscling up alongside US allies Israel and Saudi Arabia to try to check the country’s regional influence while continually casting doubt on the Obama-era nuclear deal with Tehran.
Trump’s position also represents a return to an elusive hope that has often characterized Washington’s approach to Tehran since the revolution in 1979 — that a political awakening will sweep the revolutionary regime away — combined with a belief that tough US talk can be a catalyst for change.
And it is in tune with Trump’s habit of repudiating the approaches of his predecessor. Republicans now argue that latest repression exposes Obama’s deal to freeze and reverse Iran’s nuclear program as a failure, even though its proponents insist it was always meant to deal with only the most dangerous aspect of the toxic US-Iran relationship: the concern over the possibility the country could develop nuclear weapons.
Still, four days into the Iranian protests, there is no sign yet that Trump will do much more than cheer the protests from the sidelines. There is also no indication that the demonstrators would actually welcome a US role, raising doubts over the influence Washington actually has in shaping an uprising being driven by internal political dynamics in Iran, especially economic discontent.
The death toll in the protests had climbed to 12 by Monday, according to reports in the state-run Iran newspaper, which cited the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting network, and in the Islamic Students News Agency, citing the governor of Dorud, Mashallah Nemati.
Trump has been closely watching the protests build, tweeting on Friday that Iranians were showing they were “fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad.”
The next day he tweeted out highlights of his UN General Assembly speech in which he warned that “oppressive” regimes like the one in Iran could not last.
“The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!” he tweeted on Sunday, before accusing the government of cutting off the Internet to stop word of protests spreading — an apparent reference to Tehran’s efforts to limit access to social media.
Trump’s approach is rooted in the belief of many Republicans that Obama’s strategy did not do enough to fan protests against an enemy government and allowed Iran to invest the proceeds of sanctions relief under the nuclear deal to bolster its influence throughout the Middle East.
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