Monday, June 22, 2009

John King: Clashes in Iran, disagreement in U.S.

From CNN's Political Ticker
The dramatic and at times deadly post-election fallout in Iran dominated the Sunday conversation. And as we watched more demonstrations on the streets of Tehran, the debate among key policy-makers in the United States centered on whether the Iranian regime was potentially near a tipping point and whether President Obama has been too cautious his handling of this major challenge.

Developments of note included:

• The chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said she has been assured, as of late last week, that no clandestine U.S. operations were under way aimed at helping the protesters or influencing the Iranian election.

• The ranking Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar of Indiana, said he believed Iran's supreme leader had mistakenly escalated the stakes of the showdown by demanding an end to protests.

• Lugar also said that if the government of Iran indicated a sudden willingness to negotiate with the United States about its nuclear program, the administration should accept the offer despite the regime's harsh handling of the election crisis. The senator also said he thought such an invitation was "improbable."

• The president's rhetoric has become more forceful with each new statement on the crisis. But some of his conservative critics say he still falls short of what they would like to see: an unequivocal statement that he stands with those in the streets.

CNN's John King looks back at Sunday's talk shows and what will make news in the coming week.

CNN's John King looks back at Sunday's talk shows and what will make news in the coming week.

President Obama's evolving position

"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 seeking justice. And the world is watching. And we stand behind those who are seeking justice in a peaceful way. Already we've seen violence out there. ... We stand with those who would look to peaceful resolution of conflict and we believe that the voices of people have to be heard. ... The last thing I want to do is to have the United States be a foil for those forces inside Iran who would love nothing better than to make this an argument about the United States." -- President Obama interviewed on Friday by CBS' Harry Smith

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