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Is Obama Talking Tough Enough on Iran?

The election in Iran and the subsequent turmoil on its streets is seen as President Obama's first test of international leadership. Some say he is failing that test by not lashing out at the government of Iran and throwing his unquestioned support behind the protestors. Although his opponents were pleased when Mr. Obama yesterday called on Iran's government to "stop all violent and unjust actions" against the protestors. But Obama and his supporters say he is walking a very fine line, and is doing and saying the right things. Here's what people are saying:

"The last thing that I want to do is to have the United States be a foil for those forces inside Iran who would love nothing better than to make this an argument about the United States. We shouldn't be playing into that."
-- President Obama

"The President of the United States is supposed to lead the free world, not follow it. He's been timid and passive more than I would like... The young men and women taking the streets in Tehran need our support. They are basically asking for us to speak up on their behalf.”
-- Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R) South Carolina

"He's got a very delicate path to walk here. You don't want to take ownership of this."
-- Sen. Chris Dodd, (D) Connecticut

"I'd like to see the president be stronger than he has been, although I appreciate the comments that he made yesterday. I think we ought to have America lead."
-- Sen. John McCain, (R) Arizona

"If America stands for democracy and all of these demonstrations are going on in Tehran and other cities over there, and people don't think that we really care, then obviously they're going to question, 'do we really believe in our principles?'"
--Sen. Chuck Grassley, (R) Iowa


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