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In an interview on CNN, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran John Limbert saluted the bravery of the Iranian people who continue to protest in the face of repression. That repression, he said, is an indication of just how afraid the Iranian government is of its own people.
And the United States, said Mr. Limbert, "will not sit silently. We will not ignore what happens on the streets of Tehran. We believe as we have always believed that the Iranian people deserve decent treatment from their government."
Mr. Limbert made his comments on the same day President Barack Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Norway. In his speech, President Obama spoke of the dangers to peace when "citizens are denied the right to speak freely or worship as they please; choose their own leaders or assemble without fear. ... No matter how callously defined, neither America's interests – nor the world's," he said, "are served by the denial of human aspirations:"
"So even as we respect the unique culture and traditions of different countries, America will always be a voice for those aspirations that are universal. We will bear witness to the quiet dignity of reformers like Aung Sanu Suu Kyi; to the bravery of Zimbabweans who cast their ballots in the face of beatings; to the hundreds of thousands who have marched silently through the streets of Iran. It is telling that the leaders of these governments fear the aspirations of their own people more than the power of any other nation."
"And," said President Obama, "it is the responsibility of all free people and free nations to make clear to these movements that hope and history are on their side."