Biden’s vow to liberate Iran was an expression of ‘solidarity’: Karine Jean-Pierre
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Friday tried to clarify President Biden’s vows to “liberate Iran,” saying he was merely expressing “our solidarity” with the young protesters there.
“Don’t worry, we will liberate Iran. They’re going to break free pretty soon,” Biden said during a rally at MiraCosta College near San Diego, California.
The president gave no details on specific actions his administration would take to “liberate Iran.”
Jean-Pierre later told reporters aboard Air Force One, “The President expressed our solidarity with the protesters, as he has from the beginning.”
She pointed out that the government has imposed sanctions on the Iranian regime and that Biden spoke “very loud and clear” in support of protesters during a speech at the United Nations in September.
The White House spokeswoman did not say that the president’s remark indicates a specific change in policy toward Iran, but said the regime “must end its violence and intimidation.”
“The Iranian leadership is facing problems of its own making. We will continue to look for ways to hold the regime accountable for the way it treats its people,” Jean-Pierre said.
“Our policy is to support the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, we do,” she added.
Protesters in Iran have been demonstrating for the past seven weeks in response to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while she was in the custody of Iran’s Morality Police.
Biden’s remark on “free Iran” drew criticism from lawmakers and Iran pundits on social media.
“Biden’s promise to liberate Iran sends all the wrong messages about the US role in the Iranian protest movement,” said Sina Toossi, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy. wrote on twitter.
“It plays into the hands of the Islamic Republic by making it appear that the US is admitting to spearheading a regime change project – and not the Iranian people themselves,” Toossi added.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) argued that after the Biden administration’s Afghanistan blunder, there was a lack of credibility to take the comment seriously.
“Now Biden is saying, ‘We will liberate Iran.’ But after we failed Americans in Afghanistan and left our partners there to die, his promise to the brave people on the streets of Tehran just doesn’t have credibility,” Issa wrote in a tweet.