AFP: Iran’s hardline president on Wednesday accused Barack Obama of meddling in his country after the US leader called for global support for Iranians in their fight for greater democracy.
TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran’s hardline president on Wednesday accused Barack Obama of meddling in his country after the US leader called for global support for Iranians in their fight for greater democracy.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, reinstated as president last year in what the opposition charged was a fraudulent election, branded the US government as “the most violent dictatorship.
“He (Obama) has issued a statement on the anniversary of the election. This is meddling in Iran’s affairs,” Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech, referring to the US president’s statement before the June 12 anniversary of the disputed poll.
“This nation does not acknowledge you at all and hates you,” Ahmadinejad said, drawing chants of “Death to America!” from the crowd assembled for his visit in the central city of Shahrekord.
“Today the most violent dictatorship is being applied against American people,” the hardliner charged. Americans “are not free to express their opinions… are not free to demonstrate and many live in poverty.
“Mr. President, if you are worried about nations, you should first think about your own people. From now on, one of the Iranian people’s demands would be the freedom of the US nation from the oppressive and undemocratic US government,” he said.
In his statement on Thursday, Obama praised the “courage of so many Iranian people in the face of severe repression” and said the election will be “remembered for how the Iranian government brutally suppressed dissent and murdered the innocent.”
“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,” said the US President.
Ahmadinejad said: “This gentleman (Obama) is sitting there (in the US) and all inhumane plans and violations of human rights are taking place under the eyes of its government, but he makes claims about our people.”
Last year’s election gave an easy victory to Ahmadinejad, sparking mass protests that rocked the Islamic republic and were put down with force as dozens of protesters were killed in clashes with security forces.
Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who reject Ahmadinejad’s rule as “illegitimate,” called off planned protests to mark the anniversary of the poll over safety concerns.
But they have vowed to press on with their anti-government “Green Movement,” demanding free elections, freedom of assembly, free expression and accountable government.