Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds Iran roundtable

Capitol Hill – Today the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a roundtable discussion among a panel of experts and several Senators to confer over the recent events in Iran. Moderated by Chairman Kerry, the group focused on what implications the election fallout holds for the future of Iran as well as what actions (or lack thereof) the U.S. should take.

According to the panel, the recent demonstrations clearly display the societal rift which has been growing between the revolutionary hard-liners and the new “post-revolution” generation who seek a way forward. Additionally the demonstrations have caused the often behind-the-scenes leader Ayatollah Khomenei to come forward and get involved in the action directly, a move which is calling into question the role of the Supreme Leader. The panel was in agreement that the actions taken thus far by President Barack Obama have been evenhanded and “well calibrated”, and that the United States should be very careful as to not become too directly involved in Iranian affairs. It would be very easy for the Iranian government to point to the sordid history of U.S.– Iranian relations in order to regain support should the U.S. become involved, and so it is in the best interest of the President to tread lightly. The Guardian Council in Iran will decide on the final status of the election on Monday.