This timidity is a repetition of the events of 2009, when Green Revolution protests erupted in Iran but the US said little, according to Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) of Florida, the new House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman.
“The regime’s oppression of the Iranian people has only grown since the rigged elections and suppressed demonstrations of 2009. The US made a mistake then by not voicing full and vigorous support for Iranians demanding freedom and democracy. We cannot make that mistake again,” said Representative Ros-Lehtinen in a statement.
Ros-Lehtinen called on the Obama administration to use every tool at its disposal to sanction Iranian officials responsible for human rights violations. She urged the US to extend the current travel ban on top Iranian leaders down through the ranks to lower-level officials also deemed responsible for oppressing the Iranian people.
It’s possible that in the long run Egypt’s revolution could herald a wave of democratization throughout the Middle East, say some experts.
“It is conceivable the scenes from Tunis and Cairo could eventually serve as a rallying cry for a reenergized Green Movement in Iran,” writes Stephen Grand, director, US Relations with the Islamic World, at the Brookings Institution.