Even Tehran is having a pop at Joe! President of the Islamic Republic slams ‘absent-minded’ POTUS after he said: ‘We’re going to free Iran’ when quizzed about protests
- On Thursday, President Joe Biden said: ‘Don’t worry, we’re going to free Iran.’
- A day later, a senior official said U.S. policy towards Iran had not changed
- ‘The president was expressing our solidarity with the protesters,’ said John Kirby
- The country has been rocked by protests since a woman died in policy custody
- The Iranian president said Iran was freed in the 1979 revolution
The White House on Friday was forced to clean up President Joe Biden’s comments after he appeared to say he was ready to intervene to help the country’s protest movement.
At a campaign event in San Diego, California, a day earlier, Biden said: ‘Don’t worry, we’re going to free Iran. They’re going to free themselves pretty soon.’
His words triggered speculation that Washington was preparing action to support growing protests, as well as scornful remarks by the Iranian president, who accused Biden of being ‘absent minded.’
A day later, one of his top national security aides was asked what he had meant by his comments.
‘The president was expressing our solidarity with the protesters as he’s been doing, quite frankly, from the very outset – even in the well of the UN – making it clear that we stand with the men and women of Iran who are peacefully trying to protest … policies that they find are violating their basic civil and human rights,’ said John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communication.
He added that there had been no change
Iran has been rocked by popular protests ever since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died after being detained by the morality police for wearing a hijab ‘improperly
President Joe Biden on Thursday said: ‘We’re going to free Iran.’ Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said Iran had been freed in 1979, and blamed his remarks on ‘absent mindedness
‘We’re going to continue to look for ways to hold the regime accountable for the way that they’re treating their own people,’ said Kirby.
‘It’s going to be – it should be up to the people of Iran to determine their future.
‘And that hasn’t changed. It has to be up to the people of Iran.’
Iran has been rocked by protests ever since a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, died in police custody on Sept. 16 after being arrested for being inappropriately dressed.
While past demonstrations have focused on issues such as election results and economic hardships, current protests are focused on demanding a new political order.
Tehran did not see Biden’s comments in the same light.
In a speech marking the 1979 takeover of the U.S. embassy, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said: ‘Mr. President, Iran was freed 43 years ago.
‘Iran is determined not to fall into your captivity, and will never become your cash cow.’
He put the comments down to Biden’s ‘absent-mindedness.’
Protesters are demanding a new political order in Iran after the death of Amini
Biden made his comments in an aside during a campaign speech when members of the audience held up cellphones displaying the message: ‘Free Iran.
It is not the first time that the White House has been forced to clean up Biden’s foreign policy stance.
Officials have repeatedly had to walk back Biden’s promise to defend Taiwan if China makes good on its promises to seize the autonomous island.
Several times he has got out ahead of official American foreign policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’ which helps arm Taiwan and its government but is vague on how far Washington would actually go in protecting its freedom.
In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in August last year he said Washington would ‘respond’ to a Chinese invasion, comparing its commitment with that of defending a N.A.T.O. ally.
Officials were quick to brief journalists. ‘Our policy with regard to Taiwan has not changed,’ a senior administration official said at the time.
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