Obama condemns violence against Iran protesters
WASHINGTON â€“ Dramatically hardening the U.S. reaction to Iran's disputed elections and bloody aftermath, President Barack Obama condemned the violence against protesters Tuesday and lent his strongest support yet to their accusations the hardline victory was a fraud.
Obama, who has been accused by some Republicans of being too timid in his response to events in Iran, declared himself "appalled and outraged" by the deaths and intimidation in Tehran's streets â€” and scoffed at suggestions he was toughening his rhetoric in response to the criticism.
He suggested Iran's leaders will face consequences if they continue "the threats, the beatings and imprisonments" against protesters. But he repeatedly declined to say what actions the U.S. might take, retaining â€” for now â€” the option of pursuing diplomatic engagement with Iran's leaders over its suspected nuclear weapons program.
"We don't know yet how this thing is going to play out," the president said. "It is not too late for the Iranian government to recognize that there is a peaceful path that will lead to stability and legitimacy and prosperity for the Iranian people. We hope they take it."