Citing a source close to the principals, the Washington Times is reporting that “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged President Obama for two days to toughen his language on Iran before he did so, and then was surprised when he condemned Iran's crackdown on demonstrators last week, administration officials say.
“On the one hand, he may have felt that the United States should naturally criticize the Iranian government's violent crackdown on the protesters," said Alireza Nader, an analyst at the Rand Corp. "On the other, he acknowledged that the U.S. was still willing to engage with Iran in the future. Strong U.S. criticism of the Iranian government could jeopardize future negotiations."
Mrs. Clinton agreed with the president, but she thought it was time to get tougher after the June 20 killing of a young woman, Neda Agha-Soltan, on a Tehran street, officials said. A video of the killing was widely viewed on the Internet.
At the same time, they added, she was content to leave the decision to Mr. Obama, because she understood that he bore ultimate responsibility for any consequences.