Iran using violence against protesters, US says

June 20th, 2009 - 3:51 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, June 20 (DPA) The US criticised the Iranian government for using violence against tens of thousands of protesters that are railing against the country’s election, the White House said Friday.
“The violence is being conducted by the government,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said, adding that President Barack Obama “has been clear in underscoring and deploring the violence”.

Gibbs’ comments came after Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threw his weight behind President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Friday and called for an end to the protests, which have been ongoing since the disputed June 12 election last week.

Ahmadinejad was declared the winner with more than 60 percent, but opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Moussavi has alleged fraud and called for a complete rerun of the election. Protests since then have at times turned bloody, and there have been fatalities.

Obama believes “those who wish to have their voices heard should be able to do that without fear of violence,” Gibbs told reporters.

US lawmakers expressed support for the Iranian people’s right to free speech and peaceful protest in resolutions adopted earlier Friday.

Obama welcomed the resolution, Gibbs said.

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