- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says inflammatory anti-Israel rhetoric by the Iranian president “hurts Iran’s position in the world.”

The president spoke to reporters Tuesday about comments made at a U.N. world racism conference by Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (ah-muh-DEE’-neh-zhahd). The United States did not participate in the conference. Dozens of Western diplomats walked out during Ahmadinejad’s speech Monday when he called Israel the “most cruel and repressive racist regime.”

Obama said he will continue to pursue the possibility of improved relations with Iran on critical issues, including a standoff over its nuclear program.

But he says the rhetoric of the Iranian leader undermines Iran’s standing.

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