Obama Should Support Iran's Reformers

Let Mousavi know the US is there for them, ex-Bush officials advise

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 17, 2009 8:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Whether or not Iran’s protests coalesce into a full-scale revolt, it seems clear that the Iranian people would like to change their totalitarian government. Barack Obama should help them do it, Bush administration officials Dan Senor and Christian Whiton write in the Wall Street Journal. He could start by calling Mir Hossein Mousavi and expressing his support, and issuing another video to the people, this time offering reformers whatever help they request.

Obama should also take steps to give reformers a voice. He should increase funding for Radio Farda, a Persian version of Radio Free Europe, and work with his friends in Silicon Valley to bust the mullahs’ firewalls. “Helping the Iranian people change a government they appear to loathe will not reduce American standing in the world,” Senor and Whiton argue. Indeed, failing to engage the reformers “would not only be a travesty, but tactically foolish.”

In this frame grab taken from amateur video, supporters of Iranian reformist opposition leader Mir Hossien Mousavi demonstrate in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday June 16, 2009.
In this frame grab taken from amateur video, supporters of Iranian reformist opposition leader Mir Hossien Mousavi demonstrate in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday June 16, 2009.   (AP Photo/APTN, Amateur Video)
Iranians  take part in a demonstration near the Iranian embassy in Paris, Tuesday June 16, 2009, protesting the outcome of the presidential election in Iran.
Iranians take part in a demonstration near the Iranian embassy in Paris, Tuesday June 16, 2009, protesting the outcome of the presidential election in Iran.   (AP Photo/Laurent Emmanuel)
A young woman shouts slogans during a protest against presidential election results in Iran near the Iranian embassy in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, June 16, 2009.
A young woman shouts slogans during a protest against presidential election results in Iran near the Iranian embassy in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, June 16, 2009.   (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
A woman takes part to a demonstration of Iranians near the Iranian embassy in Paris, Tuesday June 16, 2009, protesting the outcome of the presidential election in Iran.
A woman takes part to a demonstration of Iranians near the Iranian embassy in Paris, Tuesday June 16, 2009, protesting the outcome of the presidential election in Iran.   (AP Photo/Laurent Emmanuel)
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