Michael Scherer reports:
the White House is consciously working to avoid any statements that might provide fuel for Ahmadinejad's populist rants. All of the public comments so far have sought to minimize the United States role in adjudicating or intervening in the Iranian dispute. "The point is this is not about us," said one administration official, who has been working on the issue of Iran. "The point here is we will continue to monitor the situation to see how it, in a sense, resolves itself over the coming days. The pressure is on them to demonstrate to the world that this was a legitimate election and that the outcome reflects the will of the Iranian people."
This message is likely to be repeated later today, when President Obama takes questions from reporters at around 5 p.m. following a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Look for the president to express concern over the election results and the violence, while calling for patience as the true winner of the election is sorted out. As Vice President Biden said yesterday on Meet the Press, "Look, we just don't know enough. . . . It's been less than 24 hours since the polls have closed." There is no message here for the Iranian people. No attempt to intervene publicly in its domestic politics. No urgency to congratulate a winner in the election, or declare the current election results invalid.
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