"Obviously, after the speech that I made in Cairo, we tried to send a clear message that we think there is the possibility of change," he said. "And ultimately, the election is for the Iranians to decide, but just as has been true in Lebanon, what can be true in Iran as well is that you're seeing people looking at new possibilities."
"Whoever ends up winning the election in Iran, the fact that there's been a robust debate hopefully will help advance our ability to engage them in new ways," the president concluded.
The Iranian election pits conservative hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the current president, against the more moderate reformist Mir Hossein Mousavi.
The president's reference to Lebanon – where a U.S. backed moderate coalition recently won an electoral victory over Hezbollah – seems to reflect an implicit endorsement of the challenger, who supports more freedoms for the Iranian people and improved relations with the United States.