It struck me as worth noting the progression among three key White House statements:
First, Robert Gibbs on June 13:
Like the rest of the world, we were impressed by the vigorous debate
and enthusiasm that this election generated, particularly among young
Iranians. We continue to monitor the entire situation closely,
including reports of irregularities.
Obama, June 20:
The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching.
We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the
Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its
own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be
respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise
As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go
away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own
government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the
international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people
and govern through consent, not coercion.
Martin Luther King once said — “The arc of the moral universe is long,
but it bends toward justice.” I believe that. The international
community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the
Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear
Obama, Dec. 27:
We strongly condemn the violent and unjust suppression of civilians
in Iran seeking to exercise their universal rights. Hope and history
are on the side of those who peacefully seek their universal rights,
and so is the United States. Governing through fear and violence is
never just, and as President Obama said in Oslo — it is telling when
governments fear the aspirations of their own people more than the
power of any other nation.