WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama said Tuesday that Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent characterization of the Israeli government as "racist" was part of a disappointing pattern that threatens to undermine the prospect of warmer relations between Washington and Tehran.
"Sadly, [that kind of] rhetoric is not new," Obama said during a White House meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah.
"This is the kind of rhetoric that we've come to expect from President Ahmadinejad. ... Many of the statements that [he has] made, particularly those directed at Israel, [are] appalling and objectionable."
Obama said that Ahmadinejad's remarks were harmful "not just with respect to the possibility of U.S.-Iranian relations, but [to] Iran's position in the world."