Clinton: US Supported Iran Protesters ‘Behind the Scenes’

Hints at September Deadline for Iran to Respond to Talk Offer

by Jason Ditz, August 09, 2009

In an interview today on CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that while the US didn’t want to come out too publicly in favor of the protesters in the wake of Iran’s disputed June elections, the State Department was “doing a lot” behind the scenes to support the opposition.

Secretary Clinton said it was a difficult situation because there was concern that US backing might lead Iran’s leaders “to use us to unify the country against the protesters.” Still, she insists the State Department “were doing a lot to really empower the protesters” including pressing Twitter to delay a scheduled service outage.

The exact extent to which the US has funded, and continues to fund, Iran’s opposition will likely never be known, but in the midst of the June rallies the Obama Administration did move to provide millions of dollars in grants to dissident factions, suggesting Clinton’s concern to keep the action “behind the scenes” was far from universal.

In a nod to the continued hawkish stance of the administration, Clinton also added that the US doubted Iran was going to enter into talks about its nuclear program, and suggested the US was going to “take stock” of the offer in September, insisting the US isn’t going to continue waiting for a reply.

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