In the wake of the mass protests that ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Washington has begun to “tweet” in Farsi as well as Arabic. President Obama – and to an even greater extent, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – have toughened their language against the Iranian government. Meanwhile, the troubled Persian service of the Voice of America has hired a U.S. Foreign Service officer to direct broadcasting to Iran.
Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says that the administration was more inhibited when protests broke out following Iran’s disputed 2009 presidential elections because “Obama still held out hope of reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran. Today I think the White House has come to the conclusion that they can’t reach a modus vivendi with a regime that seemingly needs them as an adversary.”