President Obama delivers a televised address from the Oval Office on the situation in Iran
Good evening. Tonight, I wish to speak not simply in my capacity as President of the United States, but as the acknowledged first among equals of the world's leaders. For that reason, I will address you not only as my fellow Americans, but as my fellow Algerians, my fellow Angolans, my fellow Azerbaijanis…
[thirty minutes later]
…and last, but certainly not least, my fellow Zimbabweans.
I have been closely watching events in the aftermath of the Iranian parliamentary elections. My perception, initially one of alarmed optimism, has now changed to deeply disturbed hopefulness. The robust debate underway in Iran over the integrity of the elections is something to which we Americans can especially relate. In 2000 and in 2004, George W. Bush won two closely-contested presidential elections, which millions of my fellow citizens viewed with skepticism – there were many, in fact, who believed, and believe to this day, that one or both elections were stolen. While we will probably never know who really won those elections, I am proud to say that the American people reacted with peaceful resignation to the results of the numerous court hearings and decisions (however tenuously grounded in genuine legal scholarship), and to the vote recounts (however incompetently administered), that ultimately provided two admittedly tarnished victories to my predecessor. It is this same general attitude of the stoic acceptance of the inevitable that I count on, myself, in my day-to-day efforts as President to reshape the partnership between government and the private sector in the United States (which partnership, for the benefit of my foreign viewers, I would define as being like Sears & Roebuck - now known, of course, simply as Sears).
I am gratified to see that The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hoseyni Khamenei (Peace be upon him!), has ordered an official probe of the election. And should the results of this probe indicate that Mr. Ahmadinejad did, in fact, win, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate him in advance. And if it turns out that the other guy won, best of luck to him, too.
In closing, I would like to emphasize that my Administration supports the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people – however they wish to define it over there – and that we all look forward to an end to the violence – whoever it is who’s responsible for it. And finally, let’s not forget the Palestinians who have been sent by Hamas into Iran for the purpose of helping with crowd control; the quicker that peace can be restored in Iran, the sooner the Palestinians can return to their homes, where they will be able to continue working toward the final, er, that is to say, toward a two-state solution.
Thank you for listening, and good night.