Monday, 01 Jan 2018 9:22 PM
President Barack Obama chose not to support massive 2009 protests in Iran because he wanted to reach a nuclear deal “at pretty much any cost,” former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren charged.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Oren, who now serves as a deputy minister in Israel’s Knesset, said Obama claimed he would not support the so-called 2009 Green Movement because the CIA helped overthrow nationalist Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953 — and he wanted to show the Iranian people he respected their sovereignty.
But behind the scenes, the Obama administration told Israelis the protesters themselves did not want an American endorsement because it could discredit them in the eyes of the Iranian people, Oren told The Jerusalem Post.
“In retrospect, those explanations are less credible,” Oren told the outlet.
“The Obama administration’s lack of support for the Green Revolution was part of a pattern in which it did not hold Iran accountable for any provocation. It would seem it was part of a general approach that began in Obama’s first week in office in 2009 of wanting to reach a deal with Iran at pretty much any cost.”
Obama’s failure to help reform-minded Iranian protesters has long been criticized by Israeli officials, led by Jewish Agency chairman and former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky, who called it the biggest failure to help human rights in modern history, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Oren said Obama’s refusal to call out Iran contrasts sharply with President Donald Trump, who “sees Iran as the problem,” according to The Jerusalem Post.
“If the Iranian regime brutally cracks down on its own people peacefully demonstrating, imagine what that regime would do to nations it vows to obliterate,” Oren tweeted, The Jerusalem Post reported. “Under the nuclear deal, the regime could someday produce nuclear weapons. Nix or fix it now.”
The Green Movement protesters were largely middle-class Iranians who poured into the streets after a disputed presidential election, and were focused on reform rather than revolution, according to NBC News.