Last week President Barack Obama said: “It is not productive, given the history of US-Iranian relations to be seen as meddling – the US president, meddling in Iranian elections.”
But now this week, Obama’s aides are saying the exact opposite: “Obama’s approach to Iran, including his assertion that the unrest there represents a debate among Iranians unrelated to the United States, is an acknowledgment that a U.S. president’s words have a limited ability to alter foreign events in real time and could do more harm than good. But privately Obama advisers are crediting his Cairo speech for inspiring the protesters, especially the young ones, who are now posing the most direct challenge to the republic’s Islamic authority in its 30-year history.”
So which is it? Did President Obama have zero effect on Iran’s elections, or did he single-handedly ignite the Iranian uprising?
The answer is neither. On the same day that a pro-Western coalition defeated Hezbollah at the polls this month, a neo-nazi party picked up its first ever European parliament seat.
The Obama Effect is highly overrated.