dimanche 21 juin 2009

US urges Iran to end 'violence'


US President Barack Obama has warned Iran to stop all "violence and unjust action against its own people", after a day of protests over last week's vote.
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Mr Obama urged Iran 's leaders to "govern through consent, not coercion".
Defeated candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi repeated calls for the election to be annulled on the grounds it was rigged.
Mr Obama, in a statement from the White House on Saturday, said: "The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.
It was Mr Obama's second statement in as many days on the Iranian crisis.
On Friday he warned the country's clerical leadership: "The whole world is watching.
"The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government."
Republicans critics of the administration have accused Mr Obama of not being outspoken enough in his condemnation of the Iranian government.
But the BBC's Jon Donnison in Washington says the president is treading a fine line - he does not want to be seen to be interfering, which could stir up anti-American sentiment within Iran and work against the protesters.
On Friday, after a week of unrest since the 12 June re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran 's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned protesters not to continue their rallies.
But thousands attempted to gather at Enghelab and Azadi squares in the centre of the capital on Saturday.
The two squares were blocked by police, and large groups of protesters were dispersed before regrouping into smaller clusters, witnesses said.

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As night fell, protesters could be heard shouting Allahu Akhbar (God is The Greatest) from rooftops as they have done on previous nights.
In a letter to Iran 's powerful Guardian Council, Mr Mousavi, who had not made a public comment for two days, reiterated his calls for the election to be declared void.
He alleged the vote was rigged months previously.
Analysts say the street protests are a challenge to ruling authorities, unprecedented since the Islamic revolution of 1979.
(BBC World Service)

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