Obama Troubled by Disputed Iran Election

June 16, 2009 6:33:01 PM PDT
President Obama said he's deeply troubled by the disputed election in Iran. But he added he does not want to be seen as meddling in Iran's politics. In Tehran, the streets were more peaceful Tuesday after Monday's anti- government protests turned violent.The regime has tried to restrict foreign reporters ... but ABC's Jim Sciutto filed this report from the Iranian capital.

This is the fourth day of massive protests in Iran. A rally for Mahmoud Ahmedinejad ... the government-declared winner of Friday's Presidential Election. It was organized by Iran's clerical regime in an apparent attempt to reclaim the streets of Tehran.

In the other part of the city, a counter protest ... supporters of opposition candidate Mirhossein Mousavi challenged Ahmedinejad's "landslide win" as a fraud. Both rallies came just a few hours after the powerful guardian council announced it was ready to recount some of the election votes. Mousavi is demanding new elections. And now the authorities have clamped down on the foreign press, banning journalists from the streets and reporting on any "unauthorized" demonstrations.

Jim Sciutto said, "We have to keep moving as we film this not to attract the attention of the police; the government says there were seven protestors who were killed yesterday when they ransacked the military outpost."

Pro-democracy Iranians are using high-tech means for getting their message out. They are recording on their cell phones and posting the pictures on the web ... which has led government censors to block some of the sites.

President Obama said Tuesday that disputed elections in Iran show that Iranians are willing to question their government.

"There are people who want to see greater openness, greater debate, greater democracy," said Obama.

But the president stopped short of saying the elections were rigged and Tuesday night in Iran protests continue.

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