His identification with third world peoples fighting colonialism is something which he talked about quite openly. That is his family background. His father was a Kenyan Marxist Muslim. His stepfather was a Muslim, too, and his mother spent her life defending local Indonesian craftsmen against globalization. So that was how he was brought up.
The Obama administration clearly believes that the Iranians have a reason to be suspicious and resentful of the west. As for myself, I believe his sentimentality and ideology overwhelm his good judgment.
Thanks to Boinky for posting the link to the interview with Spengler