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Iran Protesters Show Yearning for Freedom, says Bush - 2003-06-15

U.S. President Bush says the pro-democracy demonstrations in Iran show a yearning for freedom. Mr. Bush made clear that they have his moral support.

The president said the people of Iran are expressing their desire to live in a free country. He says their protests are a positive step on the road to freedom.

The president was asked about the situation in Iran as he emerged from church services near his parents' home in Kennebunkport, Maine. He said freedom is a powerful incentive and added he believes that one day it will prevail everywhere.

His words followed another round of protests late Saturday in Tehran. The demonstrations began on Tuesday and clashes followed between young protesters and pro-government militants.

The White House issued a statement Saturday urging the Iranian leadership to respect the human rights of the demonstrators and to release those who had been arrested. Iran's Foreign Ministry responded by accusing the United States of "flagrant interference" in that country's internal affairs.