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Obama urges support for Iranian `freedom`

Obama`s call came a year after disputed elections sparked major protests.



Washington: US President Barack Obama has urged the world to support the Iranian people in their fight for "freedom”, one year after disputed elections triggered major demonstrations.

Obama`s call came after Iranian opposition leaders cancelled anti-government protests planned for Saturday, the anniversary of last year`s disputed election that reinstated incumbent hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi said in a joint statement the decision was made in order "to protect the lives and properties of the people”.

When Iranians went to the polls a year ago on Saturday, results gave an easy victory to Ahmadinejad. Opposition candidates said the results were rigged, sparking street protests that rocked the Islamic republic and were put down with force.

"The courage of the Iranian people stands as an example to us and it challenges us to continue our efforts to bend the arch of history in the direction of justice," Obama yesterday said in the statement read by one of his human rights advisors.

"It is the responsibility of all free people and free nations to make it clear that we are on the side of those who seek freedom, justice and dignity, as surely as hope and history are," Obama said in the statement.

PTI

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