Iran: The View from the White House

Jun 14, 2009 7:58pm

The White House has not issued a statement expressing support for the protestors declaring the election illegitimate. But neither has anyone in the Obama administration said a public word accepting the legitimacy of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's reelection.

"We're reacting to concrete facts," a White House official tells ABC News. "We're collecting them still."

That said, the primary concerns the White House has about Iran are not about free and fair elections. The concerns are: Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and its support for terrorism.

"We have to deal with the Iran that we have rather than the Iran that we wish we had," says the official.

It's worth keeping in mind that President Obama expressing concern for, say, Mir-Hossein Moussavi, wouldn't necessarily be a way to help Moussavi. President Obama on Friday, and Secretary of State Clinton and White House press secretary Robert Gibbs since then, have all spoken about the enthusiasm among Iran's young people, and in so doing seem to be taking a long-term view.

"This is a debate among Iranians about Iran's future," the official says.


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