The leaders of the G-8 countries meeting in the Italian mountain town of L'Aquila issued an unusually tough statement on Iran's post-election crackdown Wednesday night, calling on the regime to respect the rule of law and human rights. But when it came to Tehran's nuclear program, which President Barack Obama sees as the overriding strategic issue between the U.S. and Iran, the leaders struck a milder tone, urging negotiations and underscoring Iran's rights to a civilian nuclear program. It was the clearest indication yet that despite the post-election violence in Iran, President Obama intends to stick to his strategy of offering carrots first, then sticks, for handling Iran's nuclear ambitions.

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