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US House condemns Iran crackdown
Vote calls for end to "ongoing violence" following disputed presidential polls.
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2009 18:54 GMT
Obama has voiced concerns over the situation in Iran but warned against US "meddling" [Reuters]

The US House of Representatives has voted 405-1 to condemn Iran's crackdown on protests following its disputed presidential elections.

The vote on Friday came amid criticism of Barack Obama, the US president, for not saying more to criticise Tehran's handling of the protests against the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The policy statement expressed support for "all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties and rule of law" and affirms "the importance of democratic and fair elections".

It also condemns "the ongoing violence" by the government and pro-government militias against demonstrators, as well as government "suppression of independent electronic communications through interference with the Internet and cell phones".

The White House welcomed the vote and denied that Obama has not spoken out as strongly as the House of Representatives.

Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, said he believed "the language in the reslution is very consistent with the language the president used".

Pressure call

Obama has voiced concerns over the protests but warned that it was "not productive" to be seen as "meddling" in Iranian politics.

In depth



 Video: Iran supreme leader in 'power struggle'
 Video: Iran's 'citizen journalists'
 Video: Iran steps up net censorship
 Video: Iranians go online to evade curbs
 Video: The struggle for power
 Video: Rival protests continue in Iran
 Video: One dead at Iran rally
 Video: Iranians rally in Europe
 Video: Poll result triggers Tehran protests

 Iran's Ayatollah under threat?
 
Iran curbs media after poll result
 Mousavi sees election hopes dashed
 Iran writer on poll result
 Mousavi's letter to the people
 Iran poll result 'harms US hopes'
 West concerned by Iran fraud claims
 What next for Iran?
 The Iranian political system
 Riz Khan: Iran's disputed election
 Inside Story: Iran election recount
 Inside Story: Iran's political future

 Your media: submit your clips of the protests to Al Jazeera 

Mike Pence, the Republican congressman who co-sponsored the resolution, said he believed the US should place more pressure on the Iranian government.

"When Ronald Reagan went before the Brandenburg Gate, he did not say 'Mr. (Mikhail) Gorbachev, that wall is none of our business,'" said Pence, of President Reagan's famous exhortation to the Soviet leader to "tear down that wall".

Howard Berman, the Democrat chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and co-sponsor of the resolution, said "it is not for us to decide who should run Iran, much less determine the real winner of the June 12 election".

"But we must reaffirm our strong belief that the Iranian people have a fundamental right to express their views about the future of their country freely and without intimidation."

Ron Paul, a Texas libertarian and former presidential candidate who often speaks out against what he regards as government meddling, cast the sole opposing vote.

Opposition figures, led by Ahmadinejad's main challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi, have said that the vote was rigged and hundreds of thousands of Iranians have held daily street protests since the poll results were announced.

Amnesty International, the UK-based human rights group, said on Friday that it believed 15 people had been killed as the protests spilled over into violence, compared with just seven deaths reported on Iranian state radio.

Source:
Agencies
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