Obama shuns direct comment on Iran's disputed presidential elections
U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday remained keeping his mouth shut about true or false in the disputed Iran's presidential elections, Xinhua reported.
"It's not productive given the history of U.S.-Iranian relations to be seen as meddling," Obama told reporters after talks with his visiting South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak at the White House.
However, Obama said that the disputed election in Iran revealed an eagerness for a change in the Islamic Republic.
"I do believe that something has happened in Iran. ...There are people who want to see greater openness and greater debate and want to see greater democracy," Obama said of growing violence between supporters of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was declared winner of the presidential election on Friday, and protesters who claimed that the elections were fraud.
"How that plays out over the next several days and several weeks is something ultimately for the Iranian people to decide, but I stand strongly with the universal principle that people's voices should be heard and not suppressed."
"My hope is ... that the Iranian people will make the right steps in order for them to be able to express their voices, to express their aspirations," Obama said.
Iran's Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli announced on Saturday that the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won 62.63 percent of the total votes during Friday's vote, while former Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi got 33.75 percent in Iran's presidential competition.
Soon after the announcement, Mousavi, in a statement, protested "strongly" the "obvious" violations in the presidential election.
Riots reportedly erupted for a third day on Tuesday with gunshots heard in the capital of Tehran and some other cities where security forces cracked down on opposition leaders and demonstrators.
Under Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's order, the Guardian Council of the Constitution, which enjoys the right for acceptance or rejection of elections' legality and candidates' competency, said on Tuesday that it is ready to recount the disputed polling boxes.