President Barack Obama today challenged Iran's government to halt a "violent and unjust" crackdown on dissenters, using his bluntest language yet to condemn Tehran's postelection response. Obama has sought a measured reaction to avoid being drawn in as a meddler in Iranian affairs. His comments have grown more pointed as the clashes intensified, and his latest remarks took direct aim at Iranian leaders.
"We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people," Obama said in a written statement. "The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights." Obama met with advisers at the White House as developments in Iran grew more ominous today.