I’ve got a piece going up imminently at the Washington Independent about what the Obama administration is going to do about the unfolding Iranian insurrection. But it’s really unhelpful to see that the Czechs, as current occupants of the European Union’s presidency, have decided to recognize Ahmadinejad’s electoral theft. However, it’s apparent that the EU isn’t speaking with one voice here, as foreign-policy chief Javier Solana said that it was too soon to draw a judgment about the election’s true victor, which is what Joe Biden said today. And as Nico Pitney, who should be made an honorary Iranian dissident for the yeoman work he’s done this weekend at HuffPo, noted, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has denounced the Iranian suppression of the opposition.
But still. The Czechs have made an extremely unwise decision here, though I doubt very very strongly — see this piece, which will probably come out at midnight, at the Windy — that the White House will follow suit.
Update: Here’s that Windy piece. The money stuff is probably this –
A senior Obama administration official who did not want to be identified or quoted explained that the president was deeply conscious of appearing not to favor any side in the election. Officials had ruled out calling for a recount or a revote out of a concern for undermining the Iranian opposition. The official said it was important to have a policy toward Iran that advanced the administration’s desire for liberalization and human rights in Iran, not one that merely vented American outrage at Ahmadinejad.
If and when Obama speaks about the violence in Iran over the coming days, the official predicted, he will emphasize the need for respecting human rights in Iran and for Iranians to reach their own solution. Potential multilateral efforts at calling attention to electoral improprieties and the resulting violence were said to be on the radar of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. No administration official mentioned recognizing the legitimacy of Ahmadinejad’s proclaimed victory at this point as a policy option under consideration, in keeping with Biden’s call for further “analysis” about the true election result, despite the fact that the European Union’s presidency, currently held by the Czech Republic, recognized Ahmadinejad as the victor despite noting “irregularities” in the vote.
– but I also really like this point made by Trita Parsi:
But however much sympathetic Americans might wish the Obama administration to express more forthright support for the embattled protesters, analysts believe that doing so would ultimately set back their struggle. It was important, Parsi said, for any non-Iranian organization wishing to show solidarity with the opposition to ensure that “anything they do is two steps behind the opposition and not two steps ahead.” The current struggle, he said, is “not a battle in the slightest to be fought by any in the international community or any entity. Iranians have tremendous pride in doing this themselves.”