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EU Voices Concern on Iranian Post-Election Violence

By VOA News


The European Union is voicing concern about Iran's crackdown on demonstrators protesting the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

A statement Sunday from the Czech EU presidency also expressed hope the outcome of the election will not hinder dialogue on Iran's nuclear program. It says the EU expects the new Iranian government to respect its international obligations.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called the crackdown on Iranian protesters unacceptable. He also said the landslide victory reported by election authorities for the incumbent president raises questions of irregularities that require "a comprehensive explanation."

France also voiced concern, with a close advisor to President Nicolas Sarkozy Henri Guaino saying "what is happening in Iran is not good news for anyone."

An injured protestor in Tehran
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Elsewhere, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai congratulated Mr. Ahmadinejad on his victory.

In a statement, Mr. Karzai also praised Iran's large voter turnout and said he hopes that ties between Tehran and Kabul will continue to improve.


Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Saturday that Mr. Ahmadinejad's victory means the international community must act in an uncompromising way to prevent a nuclear Iran, to stop its support for terror groups, and to halt its undermining of Middle East stability.

Israel is a frequent target of Mr. Ahmadinejad's inflammatory rhetoric. The Iranian president has called for an end to Zionism and has described the Holocaust as a myth.

The Arab League congratulated Mr. Ahmadinejad for his election win and expressed hope for improved relations with the Arab world.

Iran's state news agency said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad also congratulated President Ahmadinejad. Iran is a staunch supporter of Hamas.

US Eyeing Reports of Voting Irregularities in Iran

The United States says it is monitoring the situation closely regarding Iran's controversial presidential election, including reports of voting irregularities.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the U.S. is impressed by the "vigorous debate and enthusiasm" the election generated, particularly among young Iranians.

Speaking Saturday in Canada, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States hopes the outcome of the Iranian election reflects the "genuine will and desire of the Iranian people."  She said like the rest of the world, the U.S. is waiting and watching to see what the Iranian people decide.

Standing alongside Clinton, Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said his country is "deeply concerned" with reports of voting irregularities in Iran.  He called on Iranian authorities to conduct a "fair and transparent" counting of the ballots.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

... Payvand News - 06/14/09 ... --

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