Kiss the Sky: Green Balloons Over Tehran, June 26, 2009
From the New York Times:
Keeping pressure on Iran's rulers, Obama emphasized the rights of the people there.
''Their bravery in the face of brutality is a testament to their enduring pursuit of justice,'' Obama said.
''The violence perpetrated against them is outrageous. In spite of the government's efforts to keep the world from bearing witness to that violence, we see it and we condemn it.''
Iran's violent postelection chaos has captured the world's attention and elicited increasingly sharp condemnations from Obama. Iran's ruling clergy have widened the clampdown on the opposition since a bitterly disputed June 12 presidential election, and scattered protests have replaced the initial mass rallies.
At least 17 people have been killed in a state-led crackdown on protesters.
Obama said Mousavi had captured the spirit and imagination of the Iranian people who want a more free society.
And he dismissed statements by Ahmadinejad, who on Thursday compared Obama to Bush. Obama said he is not meddling in Iran's affairs but rather calling for principles recognized around the world.
''A government that treats its own citizens with that kind of ruthlessness and violence and that cannot deal with peaceful protesters who are trying to have their voices heard in an equally peaceful way have moved outside of universal norms -- international norms -- that are important to uphold,'' Obama said.