Donald Trump, who has routinely criticized U.S. intervention in the Middle East, attacked President Obama in 2011 for not backing Iranian demonstrators who had protested the country's presidential election results two years earlier.
In a Youtube video uploaded by Trump in October 2011, he criticized Obama’s handling of the then-recent intervention in Libya, before pivoting to his response to the 2009 Iranian protests.
“If Obama would’ve backed the people of Iran two years ago when that county had a big, big problem—and the protesters were making headway—like he backed the protesters in the United States—as they call themselves occupy —we wouldn't have any problems in Iran,” Trump said, “believe me.”
“That country would've been turned over so fast, instead he abandoned those people," Trump added. "And you know what the end result is. And Iran has only gotten stronger. The man doesn't know what he’s doing.”
This wasn’t the first time Trump suggested he would have preferred the United States to take an active role in overthrowing Middle Eastern dictators. He had previously expressed support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, as well the intervention in Libya in order take out Muammar Gaddafi. Additionally, Trump praised the overthrow of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Contrary to his previous positions, Trump now says the overthrow of Mubarak was a mistake, and calls the decisions to intervene in Iraq and Libya disasters.