State Not Singling Out Iran After All?

The State Department seems to have taken to heart a recent criticism that was delivered sharply by a questioner in the daily press briefing. Addressing State’s proactive stance on Iran, which was compared to being publicly behind the curve on Egypt, an unnamed reporter asked, “what about other countries – Bahrain, Yemen, or Algeria, or Jordan?”

Spokesperson P.J. Crowley replied, “Well, actually, in the other countries there is greater respect for the rights of the citizens.”

Phil Weiss, parodying a favorite neoconservative meme about Israel, called it “singling out Iran.”

But State is being responsive to the tough questions, and has come out with a statement on U.S. ally Bahrain. Here’s Crowley, in full:

The United States is very concerned by recent violence surrounding protests in Bahrain. We have received confirmation that two protesters in Bahrain were recently killed, and offer our condolences to the families and friends of the two individuals who lost their lives.

The United States welcomes the Government of Bahrain’s statements that it will investigate these deaths, and that it will take legal action against any unjustified use of force by Bahraini security forces. We urge that it follow through on these statements as quickly as possible. We also call on all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from violence.

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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.

One Comment

  1. Funny how Crowley failed to condemn Bahrain in the same, strong terms Donilon savaged Iran, which read: “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.” In particular, where is the call for the right to demonstrate in Bahrain?

    Obama seems to want to become the “democracy President” by riding the wave of discontent sweeping the Arab world. But if you look more closely his behavior, he’s simply being opportunistic, using the situation to advance his agenda against Iran while going easy on autocratic allies like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.

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