Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French education: Reinventing the idea of school

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

Read more

#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

Read more

FASHION

Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

Read more

ENCORE!

Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

Read more

Americas

Iran crackdown has hurt chances for US dialogue, Obama says

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-26

US President Barack Obama said the police crackdown on election-related protests in Iran has hurt the chances of opening a new era of dialogue. Obama was speaking after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House.

Reuters - U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday his hopes for a direct dialogue with Iran had been affected by what he described as the brutality of Tehran's "outrageous" crackdown on protesters in the aftermath of its disputed election.

"There is no doubt that any direct dialogue or diplomacy with Iran is going to be affected by the events of the last several weeks and we don't yet know how any potential dialogue will have been affected until we see what has happened inside of Iran," Obama told a joint White House news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"There are going to be discussions that continue on the international stage around Iran's nuclear program. I think the direct dialogue between the United States and Iran and how that proceeds, I think we're going to have to see how that plays itself out in the days and weeks ahead," he said.

Obama rejected a demand for an apology from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said Obama was interfering in the Iranian election.

"I don't take Mr. Ahmadinejad's statements seriously about apologies, particularly given the fact that the United States has gone out of its way not to interfere with the election process in Iran," he said.

The U.S. leader praised Iranian protesters, saying: "Their bravery in the face of brutality is a testament to their enduring pursuit of justice. The violence perpetrated against them is outrageous."

He said Ahmadinejad's chief rival, former Prime Minister Mirhossein Mousavi, had "captured the imagination" of Iranians who want to open up to the West.

Obama reiterated U.S. concerns about Iran's nuclear program, which Washington fears is to develop atomic weapons but Tehran says is for generating nuclear energy.

"Iran's possession of nuclear weapons will trigger an arms race in the Middle East that would be bad ... for the security of the entire region," Obama said.

"So even as we clearly speak out in a unified voice in opposition to the violence that's taken place in Iran, we also have to be steady in recognizing that the prospect of Iran with a nuclear weapon is a big problem."
 

Date created : 2009-06-26

COMMENT(S)