White House Notes "Concerns" Over Iran

(CBS)
Wary of making a wrong move, the White House is exceedingly careful in choosing its words about the election results and protests in Iran.

"Obviously we continue to have concerns about what we've seen," said spokesman Robert Gibbs about Iran's declaration that incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won re-election and the subsequent protests of that outcome.

The closest Gibbs would come to an expression of support for the so-called moderate candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi was to say the White House "continue(s) to be heartened by the enthusiasm of the young people in Iran."

The Obama Administration is treading lightly, for fear the wrong words would give Ahmadinejad rhetorical ammunition to use against those who support his ouster.

But Gibbs stood by the brief written statement the White House issued Saturday in which it is monitoring the Iran situation closely "including reports of irregularities."

Gibbs spoke to reporters on Air Force One as President Obama flew to Chicago this morning for his health care speech to the American Medical Association.


(CBS)
Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here. You can also follow him on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/markknoller.
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