WASHINGTON — President Obama on Friday had some of his strongest words for Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his country’s disputed election, which has resulted in protesters being beaten and killed.
Mr. Obama said he doesn’t take seriously Mr. Ahmadinejad’s request for an apology for the U.S. meddling in the June 12 election. He also said Mr. Ahmadinejad should instead “think carefully” about his obligations to those beaten, shot and killed in the post-election marches.
“The violence perpetrated against them is outrageous. We see it and we condemn it,” Mr. Obama said an East Room news conference after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The president also said his administration has not interfered in the election and has made every effort to make that clear.
Mrs. Merkel said the international community must help to identify victims who were beaten, arrested or killed by the Iranian government.
“We will not forget,” she said through a translator. “Iran can’t count on the world community turning a blind eye.”
Mr. Obama nodded as he listened to the translation.
The president said the post-election violence will have an effect on international negotiations to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, though he said he doesn’t know how they will be affected.
Protesters claim irregularities and have demanded a recount in the election is which Mr. Ahmadinejad won in a landslide victory over Mir Hossein Mousavi. The violence occurred in the days after the election when Iranian security forces turned back hundreds protesters marching in the streets of Tehran and elsewhere in the country.
The death count varies from the government count of 20 to the protesters’ count of 200. Hundreds more have been beaten and arrested.