- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 14, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday questioned the legitimacy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in the Iranian elections, saying until there is further study, U.S. officials “just don’t know enough” about how they were conducted.

Violent protests have erupted in the streets of Iran since Mr. Ahmadinejad was declared the winner by 63 percent of the vote over Mir Hossein Mousavi.

“There’s some real doubt about that,” Mr. Biden said from his home in Wilmington, Del., on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

He said the administration is waiting for international and U.S. analysis of the election, especially noting the Ahmadinejad landslide seems questionable.

“That’s what they are announcing. We have to accept that for the time being, but there’s an awful lot of questions about the way this election was done,” he said, adding that Mr. Ahmadinejad’s government is suppressing speech by shutting down the crowds.

Mr. Biden stressed the U.S. will only talk to Iran if President Obama decides it is “in the national security interest to talk,” and added the president will not allow Iran to “go nuclear.”

Asked about North Korea’s actions testing long-range missiles that Mr. Obama has labeled provocative, Mr. Biden said if the country is proliferating nuclear weapons or missiles, then it is “a serious danger and a threat to the world, and particularly in east Asia.”

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Mr. Biden declined to even confirm the United States is attempting to negotiate with North Korea over the two imprisoned U.S. journalists, insisting “no comment” when pressed further.

The vice president also talked about the administration’s economic stimulus plan, defending the number of jobs created by noting 14,000 teachers who had received their pink slips in New York have their jobs thanks to the stimulus.

“The bottom line is jobs are being created that would not have been there before,” Mr. Biden said.

When pushed on the still-high unemployment figures, Mr. Biden said, “Everyone guessed wrong about what the state of the economy was at the moment this was passed,” adding the administration needs to “recalibrate” its numbers from time to time.

The vice president said Mr. Obama “values my opinion” and has “kept his end of the bargain” to consult him on important issues.

“There’s not a single decision he’s made he hasn’t asked me my view,” Mr. Biden said.

Mr. Biden lauded his own “proactive” role in the Supreme Court selection process, saying for the first time he was in a position to “help choose” Justice Sonia Sotomayor as Mr. Obama’s nominee.

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