Berman on House Floor; Obama Helped on Resolution
To add to Weigel’s post a bit, I’m not sure Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) is really hedging his bets on the Iran resolution he signed onto with Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.). While he said that it’s “not for us to decide who runs Iran, or who the real winner of the June 12 election” was, the resolution “puts the House of Representatives on the side of the people of Iran. … We cannot remain silent when cherished, universal principles are under attack.”
His colleague, Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), commended Berman and the resolution for supporting “fundamental, universal human rights and civil liberties to which the Iranian people are entitled.” They got into a bit of a back-and-forth about the Iranian nuclear program, with Ros-Lehtinen talking about the nuclear threat and Berman saying the resolution was just about the Iranian people.
Meanwhile, Glenn Thrush at Politico reports that the White House is backing the resolution, and “worked with House Democrats to moderate a fire-breathing resolution circulated by Republicans to rebuke Iran for its post-election crackdown on dissent, according to an Obama aide.”
“We made it clear that we didn’t want to make the U.S. a foil in a debate that has nothing to do with us,” a senior administration told me this morning. “This is a debate among Iranians.”
If so, then the go-ahead from the White House represents its largest step yet at expressing rhetorical support for the Iranian opposition, even if the language is couched in support for universal human rights.