Obama: World 'Appalled' by Iran Violence

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 23, 2009 12:09 PM CDT
A man who sustained a gunshot wound to his right leg, in an area where pro-government militia were firing shots in the air in Tehran.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – President Obama today declared the United States and the entire world are "appalled and outraged" by Iran's violent efforts to crush dissent, a clear toughening of his rhetoric as Republican critics at home pound him for being too passive. Obama condemned the "threats, beatings, and imprisonments of the last few days." At least 17 people have been killed in protests since the disputed election took place.

In Tehran, chaotic images of riot police beating and shooting protesters have seized the world's attention and heightened pressure on Obama to act. “I have made it clear that the United States respects the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Obama said. "But we must also bear witness to the courage and dignity of the Iranian people, and to a remarkable opening within Iranian society. And we deplore violence against innocent civilians anywhere that it takes place."