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Senate Condemns Violence In Iran Protests

(CBS/AP)
The Senate passed a resolution Friday that denounces the "ongoing violence" and other crackdowns against anti-government protestors in Iran, the Associated Press reports.

The Senate's resolution follows a similar measure in the House. Both houses condemned the use of violence against protesters and the obstruction of telephones and other communication methods in Iran following the disputed elections.

The Iranian government has previously shut down cell phone communication during the elections. It has recently moved to block Internet communications, including social networking sites such as Twitter.

This is the strongest measure Congress has taken in addressing the situation in Iran. Some view the resolution as a criticism of President Obama, who has been somewhat cautious in discussing the Iranian government's behavior post-elections, citing fears of being seen as "meddling."

Mr. Obama today spoke to CBS News' Harry Smith about comments by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in which Khamenei backed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"I'm very concerned based on some of the tenor -- and tone of the statements that have been made -- that the government of Iran recognize that the world is watching," the president told Smith. "And how they approach and deal with people who are, through peaceful means, trying to be heard will, I think, send a pretty clear signal to the international community about what Iran is and -- and is not."

The resolution in both houses also encourages Iranians to "embrace freedom."

The White House says the Congressional resolutions follow Mr. Obama's own rhetoric.

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