Statement on President Obama’s handling of Iran crisis

July 2, 2009

J Street released the following statement in light of a CNN poll showing strong approval for the President’s handling of the recent Iran crisis:

J Street, along with a majority of Americans according to a CNN poll released this week, strongly approves of President Barack Obama’s steady leadership during the recent crisis in Iran.

We are as inspired by the Iranian people’s struggle for democracy as we are outraged at the Iranian regime’s apparent vote fraud and violent crackdown on demonstrators. The international community must, in the words of the President, “bear witness” to the disturbing events taking place right now in Iran. We vigorously disagree with conservative commentators and politicians that have called on the President to involve himself more directly in the crisis. Doing so would have undermined the Iranian demonstrators efforts by allowing the Iranian government to divert attention from allegations of election fraud to perceived US meddling in internal Iranian affairs. Critics also displayed some wishful thinking about Iran’s reformist camp. No matter the outcome of the leadership struggle, it is very likely that Iran’s nuclear program and support for terror against Israel will continue. At the outset of his term, President Obama made clear that engagement with Iran over its nuclear program and support for terror against Israel would be difficult and would not be assured of results. This is certainly still the case. Regardless of the difficulty of the efforts, we still believe that diplomatic engagement remains the most likely road to success. We have faith that the Administration, guided by the President’s steady hand, will continue to do everything in its power to pragmatically address our key differences with Iran. The security of Israel and the United States are at stake.