DIPLOMACY

Is Obama Too Neutral on Iran?

Republicans are blasting President Obama for not being more publicly involved in the debate over Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s hotly contested victory in Iran’s presidential elections. Obama said today that investigations into the election should involve no bloodshed and that the “world is watching” and is inspired by the protests. But he stopped short of issuing a mandate. “It is up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran's leaders will be,” Obama said Monday. “We respect Iranian sovereignty and want to avoid the United States being the issue inside of Iran.” Earlier, House Republican Eric Cantor called on Obama to "take a strong public position in the face of violence and human rights abuses." Other Republicans also urged the president to encourage the protesters. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken out, saying there were “irregularities” in Iran’s vote and calling for a transparent review. Several protesters were wounded and at least one killed today as hundreds of thousands marched in Tehran.