Obama asks Iran to respect rights of its citizens

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 - 11:33

Washington: US President Barack Obama has
condemned Iran`s crackdown on protesters and asked the country
to abide by international obligations in respecting the rights
of its citizens.

"We call upon the Iranian government to abide by the
international obligations that it has to respect the rights of
its own people," Obama said, as fresh protests erupted against
the Iranian Government in which at least eight people have
been reportedly killed.

"We call for the immediate release of all who have been
unjustly detained within Iran. We will continue to bear
witness to the extraordinary events that are taking place
there. And I`m confident that history will be on the side of
those who seek justice," Obama said.

The US joins with the international community in strongly
condemning the "violent and unjust" suppression of innocent
Iranian citizens, which has apparently resulted in detentions,
injuries, and even deaths, said the US President.

"For months, the Iranian people have sought nothing more
than to exercise their universal rights. Each time they have
done so, they have been met with the iron fist of brutality,
even on solemn occasions and holy days," he said.

"And each time that has happened, the world has watched
with deep admiration for the courage and the conviction of the
Iranian people who are part of Iran`s great and enduring
civilisation," Obama said.

"What`s taking place within Iran is not about the US or
any other country. It`s about the Iranian people and their
aspirations for justice and a better life for themselves. And
the decision of Iran`s leaders to govern through fear and
tyranny will not succeed in making those aspirations go away,"
he said.

Referring to his Noble Peace Prize speech in Oslo early
this month, Obama said: As I said in Oslo, it`s telling when
governments fear the aspirations of their own people more than
the power of any other nation.

Along with all free nations, the US stands with those who
seek their universal rights, he said.

Over a dozen dissidents have been arrested by Iranian
security forces after at least eight people were killed in
fierce clashes.

The raids are certain to further antagonise the
opposition, which has defied the authorities to stage noisy
protests at every opportunity since President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad was returned to power in a disputed June election.

The latest protests came on Sunday when police clashed
with thousands of opposition supporters who used the Shiite
sacred day of Ashura to stage fresh anti-government rallies.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 - 11:33

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