The “Supreme Leader” of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, staked out the hardest of lines today, demanding that Iran’s opposition accept the official election results and stop street protests, or else. He blamed the violence on “ill-wishers, mercenaries and elements working for the espionage machines of Zionism and western powers” as the crowd chanted death to Britain, the U.S. and Israel. An unofficial transcript is Twitter-like form is here, and also here.
Now Obama needs to make a choice. Straddling the fence, with a mixed embrace of the protesters and the regime, no longer is an option. Will Obama side with the students and moderate protesters, or with the regime in the hope that the regime will make nice in negotiations over its nuclear weapons program?
Choose hope and change, or realpolitik. We’ll see.