US Congress takes stance on Iran election
As Iran decries foreign 'interference' in its internal matters after the June 12 election, US lawmakers adopt a nonbinding resolution to condemn violence against people who protest the poll's results, Press TV reported.
In the House of Representatives on Friday, lawmakers voted 405-1 to approve the resolution. Later in the day, the US Senate passed a similar resolution.
The resolution "expresses its support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law," and it also "condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators."
The decision came shortly after Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei threw his weight behind the president-elect, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and made it clear that the protests should be stopped.
Ayatollah Khamenei also condemned what he called foreign interference in internal Iranian matter following the crucial presidential election, in which a record turnout of Iranians cast their ballot.
Howard Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said, "It is not for us to decide who should run Iran... but we must reaffirm our strong belief that the Iranian people have a fundamental right to express their views about the future of their country freely and without intimidation."
In an interview with CBS News on Friday, US President Barack Obama said he was "very concerned" and warned that the government of Iran should realize that "the world is watching."
Obama's stance on the violence-tinged post-election situation has been criticized by the opposition party and former Republican presidential rival John McCain.
The European Union took a markedly tougher line than Obama, issuing a statement condemning the violence. The union's 27 national leaders also "condemned the crackdown against journalists, media outlets, communications and protesters."
Supporters of Iran's defeated presidential election candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi have been protesting against the election result since it was announced on Saturday.
On occasions, the rallies have turned violent and resulted in casualties.