As far as I know, this is his first unequivocal statement of support for the protesters — and yet, incredibly, CBS actually cut it from the clip of the interview they aired on the Evening News, choosing instead to devote time to his point about the U.S. not wanting to interfere in Iranian affairs. It’s worth reading along with the extended transcript while you watch the vid to see what they omitted. Quote:
What you’re seeing in Iran are hundreds of thousands of people who believe their voices were not heard and who are peacefully protesting and – and seeking justice. And the world is watching. And we stand behind those who are seeking justice in a peaceful way. And, you know, already we’ve seen violence out there. I think I’ve said this throughout the week. I want to repeat it that we stand with those who would look to peaceful resolution of conflict, and we believe that the voices of people have to be heard, that that’s a universal value that the American people stand for and this administration stands for…
But the last point I want to make on this – this is not an issue of the United States or the West versus Iran. This is an issue of the Iranian people. The fact that they are on the streets under pretty severe duress, at great risk to themselves, is a sign that there’s something in that society that wants to open up.
I can’t believe CBS would suppress this for any political reason. Can it be that they really don’t know a scoop when they see it?
As noted earlier, it looks like tomorrow at 4 p.m. is zero hour in Iran. If Mousavi and the reformists go through with the rally, the regime basically has to crack down or it’ll look cowed in the face of the popular uprising. The Basij are already sharpening their axes. Literally.
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Update (Ed): Thank you, President Obama — and it’s about time.