Obama Nat’l Security Adviser on Expected Iran Protests

The Iranian opposition movement, having gone underground since the 2009 crackdown, appears to be trying to leverage the successes (thus far) of the Egyptian protest movement into a breath of fresh air for their own aspirations.

The Iranian authorities are not happy. They’re dismissing the protesters as “rioters” before they’ve even had a chance to march peacefully. Permits have been denied, and warnings issued.

The U.S., meanwhile, is preemptively speaking out on behalf of demonstrators. On Saturday, Pres. Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser, Tom Donilon, released this statement:

By announcing that they will not allow opposition protests, the Iranian government has declared illegal for Iranians what it claimed was noble for Egyptians. We call on the government of Iran to allow the Iranian people the universal right to peacefully assemble, demonstrate and communicate that’s being exercised in Cairo.

This was two days before the protests took place.

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Ali Gharib

Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.