An unnamed White House official, presumably with a straight face, assured us that Khamanei’s speech wouldn’t change the White House language because Obama is “pursuing a ‘foreign policy that advances our interests rather than a foreign policy that makes us feel good about what we’re saying’.” (Which explains why he went to Cairo to give a speech which his spinners said would make all the difference in the world? Which is why he filmed an apology valentine for the mullahs shortly after taking office? )
Later in the day the president’s stuck to his playbook:
And I’m very concerned based on some of the tenor — and tone of the statements that have been made — that the government of Iran recognize that the world is watching. And how they approach and deal with people who are, through peaceful means, trying to be heard will, I think, send a pretty clear signal to the international community about what Iran is and — and is not.
Try diagramming those sentences. Well, it’s not what Congress said, certainly. No condemnation, no forceful statement of support for democracy. He’s still “very concerned” mind you, but if you’d be hard pressed to figure out what he is “very concerned” about. If you tried to come up with a less precise, less fulsome message of support for the demonstrators you’d be hard pressed to do so. In a cycle of weak comments this is one of the weakest.