At the news conference on June 23, Obama said he was "appalled and outraged" by Iranian behavior and "strongly condemned" the violence against anti-government demonstrators. This language is much stronger than what Obama had been using before. Everyone was taking a softer line, expressing "deep concern" and calling on Iran to "respect the dignity of its own people."
The juicy story is that behind the scenes Secretary Clinton had been advocating the stronger U.S. response, but the president resisted. When he finally took her advice, the aides said, he did so without informing her first.
I am always a little skeptical about statements like that last line because first of all, the officials who spoke on this ask that they not be named due to "discussing internal deliberations." If they should not be named due to "discussing internal deliberations" then maaaaaybe they shouldn't be "discussing internal deliberations." Hm, just a thought. And second, both the White House and the State Department declined to comment publicly on Secretary Clinton's "private advice" to President Obama and their internal communications.
The article continues to say that State DID have some knowledge that Obama was going to talk tough because the language was sent to the State Department a day earlier. A second "official" was quoted saying, "The White House sent over the actual language he'd use if he chose to take that line for folks to review and weigh in on, which State did."
The Times reports that Secretary Clinton agreed with the president's earlier take on Iran, not wanting to appear to be interfering in their internal affairs to further provide ammunition to the regime, which tends to blame the United States and other Western countries for any unrest. 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.