June 20th, 2009
03:01 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama urges Iran to stop violence against its own people

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama called Saturday for the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people.

"The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching," Obama said in a White House statement. "We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people."

He said the United States stands with all who seek to exercise what he called the universal rights to assembly and free speech.

Related: Protesters beaten, tear-gassed in Tehran

Filed under: Iran • President Obama
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. hypocrisy

    I keep seeing video out of Tehran. The protesters are throwing rocks, destroying property, and lighting fires. I know if protesters where acting that way where I live (Canada) the police would respond the same way, tear gas, water houses, and physical force if necessary.
    Last Monday 7 protesters where killed trying to firebomb a Iranian military complex. The 7 protesters where reported being killed, but the media left out the fact they where trying to burn a building full of people.
    The hypocrisy I see is sickening.

    Thousands of activists arrive in Seattle, Washington in masses to protest the WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999 (World Trade Organization). Although it began as a peaceful protest with a goal of stopping the WTO talks, it escalated into a full-scale riot and eventually, a State of Emergency that pitted protesters against the Seattle Police Department and the National Guard.

    Not to mention the majority of the Iranian people support their government.

    June 20, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. Tony in Maine

    I can imagine the horrified outrage on the part of Republicans had a Senator Obama gone on national television to question President McCain's handling of an ongoing international crisis.

    Once again, politics trumps country in Lower Rightwingnuttia.

    June 20, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. Reality Check

    The Iranian Government DOES know the world is watching. They are going to prove what bullies they are.... If you are so naive to think that Iran does not realize we are watching, then resign now!

    June 20, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. Kim

    What's the difference between what's going on in Iran and what the Democratic party has become. If there is any decent from any side, they just try their best to damage you and silence you. What is the difference, really people. It's not only the party, but it's the left wing nut jobs, they are like vultures when you say anything against this administration and the shameful thing is, it's the young people, that don't have a clue, they just became involved in politics and think that everything is black and white, if you don't agree with the great one, they try to beat you down. As a democrat of over 23 years and an African American. I am so ashamed of some of the things that I read on these blogs from so called Dems and Obama Supporters. Everytime someone questions Obama or his administration the first think they say is well Bush did it, and no one said anything or Bush did this or Bush did that, they don't get that there is no justification by using Bush. Obama ran on change and if he is doing the same things that Bush did and they are so quick to say well Bush did it, then obviously there is no change. They need to step back and look at how other countries treat decent and then look at how they react to it and they will see a great deal of similarities.

    June 20, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. Fear based leaders/crooks

    Let's focus on freedom here. Spying, crooked elections,torture, habeus corpus, illegal bailouts, patriot act, etc. Don't worry what other countries are doing. We need to focus on our freedoms before we lose them.

    Oh yeah, bring our troops home NOW!

    June 20, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  6. JK Ashburn, VA

    Ooooh, that Obama teleprompter has 'em nervous now. Hey Kool-Aid drinkers, fantastic foreign policy, eh?

    June 20, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  7. Ted

    Obama's comments are measured and direct. Other than this, he should not say anymore as once past this crisis, he wants to establish diplomatic relations, whoever is the president of Iran.

    June 20, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Justin

    Good to see the President speaking out about what's going on in Iran. I'm not sure we should get directly involved but we (and all free peoples) should express our outrage for what's happening.

    June 20, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. bk

    Shut up Obama! Your too late as usual, voting present while all this is going on. Some leader you are. Idiot!

    June 20, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. Irani

    Why is there So Much Media Coverage and Concern about Iran Protests?

    Is it because Iran is Anti-American?

    Everyday Protests, Killing of innocent Civilians happen in other Countries that are Friends of US, for example Pakistan, Afghanistan. Why is there no Media Coverage on those protests?

    Does everyone know that elections in Pakistan and Afghanistan were rigged?

    June 20, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. observer

    That's all he's got? Next we will have "please don't nuke us" !

    June 20, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. Nini

    President Obama you must be outraged with the brutalities that is taking place.

    President Obama you must condemned the Government of Iran and stop legitimizing the mullah's.

    Mr. President please see the cry of help from the Iran.
    Mr. President please see the killing that is taking place.
    Mr. President look at the girl that died on Camera today, you are a parents yourself how can you not condemned these actions?

    June 20, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. David from WI

    Who wrote this statement?
    Why to I ask? We have a president that doesn't miss an opportunity to be on TV, internet etc.
    That this statement is only a written statement is atypical of the president.
    Why no TV cameras, a recorded statement at the very least?

    I feel it is a better statement but I do fear he has missed the bus on this one. Too little too late.

    I think we have a president that is far more comfortable criticizing a news outlet and domestic critics than dealing with international critics of the United States.

    Once those that knee jerk support him come back to reality and stop seeing the world through their own political agenda real debate can return to this country. Maybe 8 years of intelligent debate akin to 'why' because Bush is an idiot. (we are still in the blame Bush mode, we all 'know' every mistake this president makes is inherited from Bush right?)

    ***I am probably wasting my time typing this as the moderators for CNN only seem to allow a majority of Obama supporting posts than critical ones but its understandable since most persons in the news are self described Dems and/or on the left. The rest of us are no more 'happy' with the GOP OR THE Dems and see a politician for what they are regardless of party.***

    June 20, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    Let's send all our republicans over there to help. They want another war – let them fight it. We can't afford to be in McCains idea of 4 or 5 wars. Ws 2 wars are bankrupting us already. At least send McCain and Pence. They "know it all" with no accountability on their part.

    June 20, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Sounds like another Kumbaya moment from the Comedian-in-Chief. How do we expect Muslim countries to be nice and respect women when Muslimist violence against infidels is rampant and the religion itself treats women like property? These folks do not understand our style of freedom and probably can't handle it, as Iraq and Afghanistan have shown.

    June 20, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. jide

    It's very unfortunate,how some will take the dire situation in Iran and politicize it.Remember back when Reagan tried to get world support in attacking the Ayatollah about the dissidents tha opposed the Islamic Revolution? He basically expressed his outrage towards the US by asking where was our morals/Human Rights advocacy when We supported Iraq in the Iraq-Iran War.He went ahead and hung all those dissidents..Some of our politicians especially these pro-war republicans have such a terrible memory on these issues.Thank God we have a president that thinks Strategically.The POTUS has taken the right stance..We as Americans support our President..It's an Internal issue.Let the Iranians work it out..The Iranian leadership want th US to Intervene .If we meddle in this madness.The Iraninan leadership will use this as an opportunity to sabortage the Nuclear Issue we're looking to workout...Cooler heads always prevail.

    June 20, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  17. Reggie

    A harsher statement is warranted. Obama step up to the plate, NOW!!!

    June 20, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. Mug

    Where is the UN Security Council...this is the time to convene on Iran...is the world waiting for Genocide? POTUS has done an excellent job on Iran post elections and people should stop acting as if he is not the UN Secretary General...calling on Ban Ki Moon to action!

    June 20, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. Sharon-NY

    “World is watching” Is this the message against the dictator of Iran from American President which has strongly emphasized “Democratic”, “Freedom” and “Change” ??
    I've disillusioned with so low level message of Obama against corrupt Iranian president

    June 20, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. Mark

    Obama, stop being a Jimmy Carter. Stand up and show the support all of us Americans have for the Iranians and their freedom. Once again, Obama on the WRONG side of the situation.

    June 20, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. Melissa

    Well, there you go Republicans, he spoke out and took sides? You happy now? I bet you aren't because you just hate everything Obama does because Obama did it.

    June 20, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. once upon a horse

    I wonder if the Republicans still feel that President Obama should have come out and said something in support of the opposition party in Iran? Even with him trying to be somewhat steadfast on the matter it still didn't stop groups from chanting "DEATH TO AMERICA" in the streets the other day. Now can you imagine how much worse it may have been had the president come out and endorsed the opposition candidate? Even when he makes a sound decision he still gets flak from his opposition party here. Nonetheless America is watching and at a 33% approval rating I think we don't care much for what we see.

    June 20, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. Neutralizer

    The Iranian government is killing their OWN people. Now you understand why the SECOND AMMENDMENT is very important in our constitution. An ARMED CITIZENS are the best neutralizer for an abusive government.

    June 20, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  24. Neutralizer

    Iran will continue killing their own people, man, woman and child. The Canadian Embassy refused to accept wounded Iranians shot by basijis, IRGC and other militias working for the govt. UK, Australia, Portugal are opening their embassies accepting wounded people.

    June 20, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. Farhad

    Why beat around the bush Mr. President! Stop being politcally correct and stand for defending freedom and democracy by stating specifically that you and the people of the United States stand with the freedom seeking people of Iran and "condemn" the actions of the Islamic Republic!! What are you waiting for? Are you still hoping to sit down with Ahmadi Nejad if he remains the President of Iran in order to talk peace? Learn from the mistakes of Carter and others whose failed foreign policies brough turmoil to the middleeast! Either be a strong President who at all expense will defend freedom and democracy throughout the world, or be a weak opportunistic President who will go down in history as a fake leader!!! Come on and show some guts and take sides! This won't be meddling, it will be defending the innocent and giving them hope!

    June 20, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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