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EU Voices Concern on Iranian Post-Election Violence


The European Union is voicing concern about Iran's crackdown on demonstrators protesting the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

A statement Sunday from the Czech EU presidency also expressed hope the outcome of the election will not hinder dialogue on Iran's nuclear program. It says the EU expects the new Iranian government to respect its international obligations.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called the crackdown on Iranian protesters unacceptable. He also said the landslide victory reported by election authorities for the incumbent president raises questions of irregularities that require "a comprehensive explanation."

France also voiced concern, with a close advisor to President Nicolas Sarkozy Henri Guaino saying "what is happening in Iran is not good news for anyone."

Elsewhere, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai congratulated Mr. Ahmadinejad on his victory.

In a statement, Mr. Karzai also praised Iran's large voter turnout and said he hopes that ties between Tehran and Kabul will continue to improve.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Saturday that Mr. Ahmadinejad's victory means the international community must act in an uncompromising way to prevent a nuclear Iran, to stop its support for terror groups, and to halt its undermining of Middle East stability.

Israel is a frequent target of Mr. Ahmadinejad's inflammatory rhetoric. The Iranian president has called for an end to Zionism and has described the Holocaust as a myth.

The Arab League congratulated Mr. Ahmadinejad for his election win and expressed hope for improved relations with the Arab world.

Iran's state news agency said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad also congratulated President Ahmadinejad. Iran is a staunch supporter of Hamas.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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