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Western Nations Condemn Crackdown on Iranian Protesters

VOA News 28 December 2009

Western nations are strongly condemning Iran's crackdown on political activists.

The European Union on Monday condemned Iran's use of violence against citizens "seeking to exercise their freedom of expression and right to peaceful assembly." The statement, issued by the EU's Swedish presidency, further said that Iran must respect the rights of its people.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband issued a statement Monday praising the "great courage" of the demonstrators. He called Sunday's violence both tragic and disturbing, and he said the deaths "are yet another reminder of how the Iranian regime deals with protest."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also condemned the bloody suppression of the demonstrators.

Soon after reports of violence Sunday, a spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council issued a statement saying the White House strongly condemned "the violent and unjust suppression" of Iranian civilians. He said "it is telling when governments fear the aspirations of their own people."

And the French Foreign Ministry also promptly issued a statement condemning Sunday's violent crackdown. The statement called the activists "simple protesters" and urged the government to find a political solution.

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



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