As the mass protests of the past week in Iran gave way to the comparatively tame question of legal challenges to the vote, Iran’s key rivals are ratcheting up their rhetoric, condemning the Iranian government and, in the case of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling for regime change.
Despite pre-election polls suggesting that President Ahmadinejad was favored by the largest voting bloc, Netanyahu claimed that more than 75% of the Iranian people wanted regime change in the nation, a prospect he appeared to endorse. Israeli President Shimon Peres likewise condemned Iran as ‘pathetic and rotten’ and demanding that they abandon their uranium enrichment program, which did not appear to be a factor in the election.
President Obama likewise lashed out at the Iranian government, saying he was ‘appalled and outraged‘ by the government’s reaction to recent protests contesting the results of the election. Republican Congressmen condemned Obama for not condemning Iran even more voiciferously, and blamed him for the post-election violence.
Perhaps the international ties most damaged since the election have been between Iran and its long-time adversary the United Kingdom, and the two sides expelled one anothers’ diplomats today to express their displeasure at their respective stances.