June 21st, 2009
01:01 PM ET
14 years ago

Feinstein: U.S. not meddling in Iran

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A top senator with responsibility for overseeing U.S. intelligence activities said Sunday that the United States is not interfering with Iran’s internal politics.

“To the best of my knowledge, there has been no interference with the election. There has been no manipulation of people following the election,” Feinstein, the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

“These questions have been asked as late as this past week of people in the clandestine operations who would know this – in a formal setting – and that’s the answers we were given,” the California Democrat added.

Asked about past American intelligence failures in Iraq, Feinstein expressed some misgivings about U.S. intelligence on Iran.

“I don’t think our intelligence – candidly - is that good. I think it’s a very difficult country in which to collect intelligence right now. I think our ability to get in there and change the course of human events is very low . . .”

After saying she thought President Obama was handling the situation appropriately, Feinstein also said it was important that the U.S. not be perceived as interfering in Iran’s political situation.

“It is very crucial, as I see, that we not have our fingerprints on this. That this really be truly inspired by the Iranian people,” Feinstein said. “This is really within the hands of Mr. Moussavi, with his supporters, with the bulk of the Iranian people. And I think the important thing is that this may well reveal the enormous fallacy behind this Iranian religious-inspired regime,” she added.

The California Democrat was echoing the sentiments of fellow Democrat Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.

“This thing is unfolding,” Casey said Sunday. “It’s never going to be the same in Iran. Something is stirring in the hearts of Iranians that we’ve never seen before. . . . This is a movement the likes of which we’ve never seen.”

Filed under: Bob Casey • Dianne Feinstein • Iran • State of the Union
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Samantha, GA

    Of course the GOP wants the president to be more agressive in voicing his opinion about Iran. They want this president to FAIL, remember? President Obama is smart in doing just the opposite of what the Republicans want him to do.

    June 21, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. Reformed Republican

    I support Sen. Feinstein's position and her accessment of the situation in Iran completely.

    If we listened to those hypocritical chicken-hawk rethugliklans we'd be claiming the moral high ground of "freedom and liberty" (whatever that means) and at the same time be sending B52s over to Iran to bomb them into oblivian. Now that would be "taking a leadership role" for sure...

    June 21, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Alfred E. Neumann

    A city of 18 million and only 17 dead on Saturday.

    Some push for freedom!

    On Sunday they are back in their homes like the cowards they will always be.

    The same people that found it OK to take our Embassy employees hostage.

    Oh, and the latte drinking Iranians "protesting" in the US and mugging for the cameras. Pitiful!

    June 21, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. sharong58

    I totally agree we shouldn't interfere! It looks like the Iranian people
    know they've been duped and justice will prevail eventually. . . it's just a matter of when and how many lives will be lost in the process!
    Ahmedinijad reminds me of an "evil Ringo Starr"! He knows he would have lost so he either rigged the election or threatened people to vote for him or else! I hope someone does us all a favor and assisinates him!
    That would definitely end the bloodshed. The Iranian people
    just want the same kind of democracy we in the U.S. enjoy!
    Ahmedinijad is a control freak dictator akin to Hitler and Suddam
    Hussein and we all know what happened to them!
    The bottom line is the U.S. has no business being there and we have enough on our plate without getting into another conflict. We
    don't need anymore dead sons and certainly can't afford to get

    June 21, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. Deborah Black

    I am so glad we have President Obama, intelligent, calm, wise. The people of Iran deserve the chance to change their government, without the US providing excuses for their government to slaugher them, because they are puppets of the evil west. My thoughts and prayers are with the Iraninan people and American Politicians trying to harm our President for their own gain; are not at all concerned about the liberty or welfare of the Iraninan people. They should be ashamed and they should not think we don't see them, just like the Iranians see their corrupt leaders.

    June 21, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. Limbaugh is a liberal

    We are in no position to judge Iran's elections. In 2000 our judges selected a president over the will of the people, denying the win to the guy with the most number of popular votes! We regularly disenfranchise millions of Americans. We have shady electronic voting with no paper trail that in 2004 was shown to count thousands of votes BEFORE polls even opened! We have party elites selecting nominees for president! We have only two parties that are even allowed power in Washington! We are in no position to lecture others about democracy right now!

    June 21, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. Peter E

    Good for Iran. Now will our senators please go back to work fixing OUR democracy, fixing OUR economy before wasting time choosing puppet governments elsewhere in the world that hate America just as much as the previous government?

    June 21, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. renea

    I feel Iran should handle Iran The US president should not meddle in anothers country affairs you have to be careful on this the government of Iran dont even like us so what about the people, do you think all Iranains like us no! One day the people was yelling death to america and yet some want the president tostill meddle in that country. What the president said yesterday was the right thing say not too much not too little just right.

    June 21, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. Longhorn#1

    This is a stupid statement U.S. Not meddling. Why do you think the Iranians are seeking release and wanting Demorcracy if not for our interfering and attack on Iraq. Demoracy and freedom is what these people are seeking. For us not to help will be a crime against humanity. And proves to me if it will not benefit the U.S. financially we don't care for other peoples freedom.

    June 21, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. D. Tree

    Its just the Obama effect. Watch democracy spread faster using Obama's method compared to Bush & Cheney's.

    America has always inspired revolution from afar, never from direct interference.

    June 21, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. Deb n Texas

    You are right Senator Feinstein, it is safer to allow Iran to solve this themselves. Iran didn't intervene when the Republicans stole our election in Florida.

    June 21, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. Pres. Ahmadinejad

    That's not what I hear.

    June 21, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. Amber

    I am proud of the US and our leaders for keeping our mouths shut (for the most part) and letting the Iranian people be heard the way they see fit. We Americans do not understand how the Middle East deals with their issues. What is playing out in Iran speaks to the rest of the world in a way our words and opinions never can. Thank you.

    June 21, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. No Hillary = No Obama

    I want to hear what Hillary Clinton has to say about Iran – free from the confines of the Obama image-makers. Hillary Clinton has more backbone than Camerafly Obama could even dream of.

    June 21, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. JonDie

    While it would probably be in our country's interest to get a new regime in Iran, yes, Sen. Feinstein, both the US government and the US media (which is acting like a government-controlled propaganda service) ARE meddling in Iran, and it may come back to bite us.

    June 21, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |