White House Spox on “taking sides” in Iran

The new White House Spokesperson Jay Carney too questions on Thursday about the Middle East. This exchange ensued, regarding whether the U.S. was “taking sides with the people against the government” in Iran:

Q    And on Egypt [President Barack Obama] made very clear and Robert Gibbs made very clear that we can’t dictate, we can’t take sides.  But clearly we’ve taken sides in Iran, right?

MR. CARNEY:  We take sides with the people of countries who are expressing their opinions peacefully, who are making legitimate grievances known peacefully, who are assembling peacefully.  And we took sides with the people of Iran.  We continue to.  And we take sides with the people of other regions who are trying to do that.  We find very — extraordinarily hypocritical the reaction of the Iranian government to — on the one hand, supporting the demonstrators in Egypt and on the other hand brutally repressing their own people and preventing them for expressing their same —

Q    And that’s in Libya and Bahrain, too?  Are we taking sides?

MR. CARNEY:  Well, we have made clear — it’s not a binary choice.  We are on the side of —

Q    It’s sounding like in Iran it’s a binary choice. We’re taking sides with the people against the government.  Are we taking sides with the people in Bahrain and Libya?

MR. CARNEY:  We are taking sides against violence, the use of violence against peaceful protesters.  And we have — it’s pretty clear from what we’ve said about how we feel about the use of violence in Bahrain and how we felt about it in Egypt.  And that’s the side we’re taking.

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. Ali, I’m with you 1000% and I’m American! Ashamed such morons represent me: “We’re doing all we can, but there’s nothing we can do.” I would never want one of these government jellyfish next to me n a foxhole, and that includes Obama. Especially Obama! Like your work, by the way :)

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