Foreign Policy | June 10, 2010
By Josh Rogin

Nearly a year after a disputed election sent tens of thousands of Iranians into the streets to protest against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s return to power, Sen. John McCain praised President Obama and said that his personal narrative and sparkling personality gave him the unique ability to make progress toward overthrowing the clerical regime in Tehran.

“The United States has never had a president whose personal story resonates as strongly overseas as President Obama’s does — whose ability to inspire, to move people, to mobilize them on behalf of democratic change is one of the greatest untapped sources of strength now available to Iran’s human rights activists,” he said. “If the president were to unleash America’s full moral power to support the Iranian people — if he were to make their quest for democracy the civil rights struggle of our time — it could bolster their will to endure in their struggle, and the result could be historic.”

McCain’s speech to the National Endowment of Democracy (NED) was a full-throated call for regime change in Iran, in addition to being a call for increased administration support for Iranian democracy advocates.

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