IRANâ€™s hardline president lashed out anew at the United States and President Barack Obama yesterday, accusing him of interference and suggesting that Washingtonâ€™s stance on Iranâ€™s postelection turmoil could imperil Obamaâ€™s aim of improving relations.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in remarks to judiciary officials broadcast on state television.â€œWe are surprised at Mr. Obama. Didnâ€™t he say that he was after change? Why did he interfere? They keep saying that they want to hold talks with Iran … but is this the correct way?
Definitely, they have made a mistake.â€
Obama was strongly criticized at home and by many abroad, for his initial measured response to opposition allegations that Ahmadinejad was re-elected by fraud in the June 12 balloting and to the harsh crackdown on protesters.
The Obama administration wants to improve contacts with Tehran, especially because of concern that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
Since the election, opposition protesters repeatedly have clashed with security forces who beat them with batons, fired tear gas and water cannons and arrested hundreds of people.
At least 17 people have been killed, in addition to eight members of the pro-government Basij militia, officials have said. The crackdown has pushed protesters off the streets, ending days of unprecedented demonstrations that saw hundreds of thousands of people demanding the election be canceled and held again.