World Leaders React To Ahmadinejad’s Victory In Iran
World political leaders erred on the side of caution when it came to accepting or rejecting the results of Friday’s Presidential Election in Iran amidst massive opposition protests held both in Iran and outside the country this weekend. No world government has yet declared absolute rejection of the Iranian election results. Tehran Times reported that numerous Arab leaders have congratulated Ahmadinejad with the win and expressed hope for growing relationships.
Here are some of the reactions of political leaders around the world:
Joe Biden, Vice President --
Asked about Ahmadinejad's claimed landslide, the US vice president, Joe Biden, said: "That's what they're announcing. We have to accept that for the time being. But there's an awful lot of questions about how this election was run … We don't have enough facts to make a firm judgment."
Robert Gibbs, White House spokesman --
"Like the rest of the world, we were impressed by the vigorous debate and enthusiasm that this election generated, particularly among young Iranians," the White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said. "We continue to monitor the entire situation closely, including reports of irregularities."
Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State --
"We watched closely the enthusiasm and the very vigorous debate and dialogue that occurred in the lead-up to the Iranian elections. We are monitoring the situation as it unfolds in Iran," she said.
"The United States has refrained from commenting on the election in Iran. We obviously hope that the outcome reflects the genuine will and desire of the Iranian people."
UK, David Miliband, Foreign Secretary --
Britain's foreign secretary, David Miliband, said he had heard of concerns over ballot counting.
"This is a matter for the Iranian authorities to address. We will follow developments. Our priority is that Iran engages with the concerns of the world community, above all on the issue of nuclear proliferation," he said.
Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Foreign Minister --
In Berlin, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the "course of the election in Iran raises many questions," and he called for "authorities in Tehran to carefully look into these accusations too in an effort provide a full explanation."
Italy, Franco Frattini, Foreign Minister --
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said he was carefully following with the situation in Iran. In a statement Sunday, he urged Tehran to take steps to "ensure that the result of the election fully reflected the will of the Iranian people" and expressed hope that the "situation will not lead to further violence."
France, Bernard Kouchner, Foreign Minister --
Foreign minister Bernard Kouchner warned that the violence "could leave lasting scars" on Iran.
"We are very worried because there was a dialogue that was opening" within Iran, Kouchner said following a meeting in Paris with the US Mideast envoy, George Mitchell. "France regrets that following (this) opening, there was a somewhat brutal reaction."
European Union, official statement --
In a statement late Saturday, the EU said it was "concerned about alleged irregularities" during Friday's vote and the postelection violence that erupted after the release of results, which are disputed by Ahmadinejad's reformist rival, Mir Hossein Mousavi.
Canada, Lawrence Cannon, Foreign Affairs Minister --
Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said he was "deeply concerned" by reports of voting irregularities and intimidation in Iran's presidential election.
"We're troubled by reports of intimidation of opposition candidates offices by (Iran's) security forces," Cannon said at an event with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The minister said he had tasked Canadian embassy officials in Tehran with closely monitoring the situation.
"Canada is calling on Iranian authorities to conduct fair and transparent counting of all ballots," Cannon said with Clinton by his side.
Israel, Avigdor Lieberman, Foreign Minister --
The announcement of a resounding victory in Friday's election for the President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was greeted with relief in Israel, where it was felt that a win by the opposition reform candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi could have weakened international pressure on Iran.
The Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said Iran's problems were deeper than the personality of its president, and had more to do with overall policy.
"The international community must act uncompromisingly to prevent the country's nuclearisation and to stymie its efforts to aid terror organisations and undermine the stability of the Middle East," Mr Lieberman said.
The Vice-Premier, Silvan Shalom, said the election result was a slap in the face for those who believed Iran was capable of real dialogue with the West.
"Ahmadinejad's victory sends a clear message to the world that there is wide support for the current policy within Iran, and it will continue unchanged," he said. "The United States and the free world must re-evaluate their policy on Tehran's nuclear ambitions."
Arab League, Amr Moussa, Head of the Arab League --
Ahmadinejad's claim of victory was generally welcomed in the Arab world. The head of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, said he hoped Ahmadinejad's second term would boost global co-operation and help negotiations on Iran's nuclear ambitions.
"I believe the situation could move in the direction of quieter talks and understanding. Dialogue is the name of the game," Moussa said
Iraq, Ali al-Dabbagh, government spokesman
Iraq's Shiite-led government, which maintains close ties with the U.S. and Shiite Iran, said Saturday that it hoped the Iranian leader will seek to promote peace in the region.
"We hope that the new term of the Iranian president will begin a period of reconciliation with all countries that have no friendly relations with it," spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said.
Saudi Arabia, Osama Nogali, a foreign ministry official --
“This is an Iranian internal affair. It is up to the Iranian people to choose whomever they please,” said Osama Nogali, a Saudi foreign ministry official. “What is important is whoever is in power should respond to peaceful efforts to bring stability and security into the region.’’
Venezuela, Hugo Chavez --
Iranian media report that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called Ahmadinejad to congratulate him on the victory. Chavez is an ally of the Iranian president and another frequent critic of the United States.
For more coverage, check NowPublic's Iran Elections channel.
Most Recommended Comment
Redwater, Alberta, Canada