In 2009, the first year of the Obama administration, street protests erupted in Iran. People took to the streets demanding more freedom/less fundamentalist religous oppression.
The newly Obama administration’s reaction, as the protests grew? We don’t get involved in the affairs of other countries, we don’t want the United States “imprint” on what they do. In other words, no support for the protests…or for the protesters, some of whom were shot in the streets, arrested and even put to death for daring to express a desire for freedom.
Only after there was massive bloodshed in the streets of Tehran did Mr. Obama pipe up and condemn the government’s actions.
But now, we have what may be a similar situation. What started as protests against rising prices has expanded into more general protests against the regime itself.
So what does the Trump administration have to say about it?
Demonstrators chanted anti-government slogans in several cities across Iran on Friday, Iranian news agencies and social media reports said, as price protests turned into the largest wave of demonstrations since nationwide pro-reform unrest in 2009.
Police dispersed anti-government demonstrators in the western city of Kermanshah as protests spread to Tehran and several other cities a day after rallies in the northeast, the semi-official news agency Fars said.
The outbreak of unrest reflects growing discontent over rising prices and alleged corruption, as well as concern about the Islamic Republic’s costly involvement in regional conflicts such as those in Syria and Iraq.
An official said a few protesters had been arrested in Tehran, and footage posted on social media showed a heavy police presence in the capital and some other cities.
Washington condemned the arrests. “The Iranian government should respect their people’s rights, including their right to express themselves,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
The U.S. State Department in a separate statement urged “all nations to publicly support the Iranian people and their demands for basic rights and an end to corruption.”
That, folks, is far more support for protesters in Iran than the Obama administration gave them…until their protests were violently quashed in the streets and it made no difference any more, that is.
Where will the protests, and our response to them, go in the future? No one knows. But this time, at least so far, we are on the right side of things.
How about let’s stay there.
UPDATE: This is the tweet put out by President Trump last night:
Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching! #IranProtests
Like the title says, what a difference an administration makes.