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US Criticizes Iran Parliament Election - 2004-02-23

The United States Monday criticized Iran's parliamentary election, saying the contest, from which many reformist candidates were excluded, was "deeply flawed," and did not meet international standards.

The State Department said the election was a setback for political reform in Iran but it said pressure for democracy in that country will continue nonetheless.

At a news briefing, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher expressed the United States' disappointment in the election results. "It was not an electoral process that met international standards and I think you've seen other members of the international community say that. But we do continue to believe the Iranian people deserve a government that responds to their aspirations, and we believe that that desire on the part of the Iranian people will continue to be expressed in a variety of ways," he said.

Mr. Boucher said the election, and a broader lack of respect for human rights, was only one among a list of concerns the United States has about Iranian government policies.