Friday, June 19, 2009

Obama, Iran and history

As Obama sits on the sidelines during the election crisis in Iran, it raises some questions about how other presidents have responded to Iran in other conditions. In fact, Obama mentioned this history in comments earlier this week.

OBAMA: It’s not productive, given the history of U.S.-Iranian relations, to be seen as meddling, the U.S. president meddling in Iranian elections. … I do believe that something has happened in Iran where there is, there is a questioning of the kinds of antagonistic postures towards the international community that have taken place in the past, and that there are people that want to see greater openness and greater debate and want to see greater democracy.

and on Friday

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How have other presidents related to or worked with Iran, particularly in times of crisis.

Four presidents have traveled to Iran
Franklin Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon, and Carter.

Here - Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Vice President Lyndon Johnson, and President Kennedy with the Shah Iran at Onslow Beach, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina..
April 14, 1962 (Courtesy of US Marine Corps) More images here

The 1953 Iranian Coup and the 1979 Iranian Revolution, of course, involved deep U. S. involvement.

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