Burning-flag

Scott Lucas guides us through the president's statement on 13 Aban:

At first glance, it is extremely clever: Obama turns the history of the 1979 Embassy takeover into his desire to “move beyond this past and seek a relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran based upon mutual interests and mutual respect”.

Obama then moves to the current nuclear talks “if Iran lives up to the obligations that every nation has, it will have a path to a more prosperous and productive relationship with the international community” but it is his shift to the situation inside Iran that is most significant. Having already declared, “We do not interfere in Iran’s internal affairs,” he concludes:

Iran must choose. We have heard for thirty years what the Iranian government is against; the question, now, is what kind of future it is for. The American people have great respect for the people of Iran and their rich history. The world continues to bear witness to their powerful calls for justice, and their courageous pursuit of universal rights. It is time for the Iranian government to decide whether it wants to focus on the past, or whether it will make the choices that will open the door to greater opportunity, prosperity, and justice for its people.

To my knowledge, this is the first direct comment by a high-level US official, let alone Obama, on Iran’s political situation since June.

Full statement here.

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