Speaking to reporters at the White House this morning, President Obama went a teeeeensy bit further on Iran than he did in his remarks yesterday, saying that he had “deep concerns” about the election. (On Monday, he said he was “deeply troubled” by the violence.) Here’s what Obama said, courtesy the White House:
It was only -- let's see -- I think seven hours ago or eight hours ago when I -- I have said before that I have deep concerns about the election. And I think that the world has deep concerns about the election. You've seen in Iran some initial reaction from the Supreme Leader that indicates he understands the Iranian people have deep concerns about the election.
Now, it's not productive, given the history of U.S.-Iranian relations, to be seen as meddling -- the U.S. President meddling in Iranian elections. What I will repeat and what I said yesterday is that when I see violence directed at peaceful protestors, when I see peaceful dissent being suppressed, wherever that takes place, it is of concern to me and it's of concern to the American people. That is not how governments should interact with their people.
And my hope is, 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. I do believe that something has happened in Iran where there is a questioning of the kinds of antagonistic postures towards the international community that have taken place in the past, and that there are people who want to see greater openness and greater debate and want to see greater democracy. 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.