Skip to Navigation
Skip to Content

Support PSR!

Make a difference in the challenge to confront global warming and prevent nuclear war and the development and use of nuclear weapons.

Donate Now »

Take Action

Tell your senators that clean water is a public health imperative and that it matters to you and your community.

Gibbs backs off on Iran Gaffe

Posted by Jill Marie Parillo and Laicie Olson on August 5, 2009


August 4, to the shock of Iran experts, White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs said that President Obama recognized Iran’s contested election of President Ahmadinejad, but then retracted the statement. When asked point blank August 4 if the administration recognized Ahmadinejad as the legitimate President of Iran, Gibbs responded that “He [Ahmadinejad] is the elected leader.” 


When asked if the Administration’s absence at Iran’s presidential swearing-in suggested their reluctance to recognize Ahmadinejad’s election, Gibbs said that this was “a decision and a debate ongoing in Iran by the Iranians [and] that they were going to choose their leadership.”  August 5 Gibbs backed off on his previous comments, stating that the issue of the legitimacy of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s June 12 election was not for him “to pass judgment on.” 


Ahmadinejad’s disputed landslide victory in the June 12 poll led to the greatest unrest in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.  The current Iranian regime violently cracked down on protesters of election results, killing over two dozen people, injuring hundreds and jailing thousands. The abuse invoked strong condemnation from the United States and the international community, but Washington has yet to take a stance on the election results.  Russian and Chinese leaders called Ahmadinejad to congratulate him the day after the June 12 election.


Washington maintains its position on direct diplomacy, stating that it seeks to engage Tehran in order to resolve the dispute over its suspected nuclear program, but Washington must recognize Ahmadinejad’s presidency to begin a dialogue.  It may be a good time to take a “strategic pause,” in implementing US-Iran policy rather than recognizing the hardline leader who is abusing his people and the concept of democracy.     



Leave your comment

Enter this word: Change

Action Alerts

More action alerts»


  • Nukes in Your Backyard

    Ever wonder how many nuclear mishaps and facilities are in your own backyard? Then check out our new map featuring pinpoint locations of close calls and the stories behind them. Read more »

  • Video: Paths to Disarmament: The NPT and the Humanitarian Initiative

    In this webinar, John Loretz of PSR's international affiliate, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, discusses the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons on humanitarian grounds. Read more »

  • Body Count

    Authored by IPPNW-Germany, the report is a comprehensive account of the vast human toll of the "Wars on Terror" conducted in the name of the American people since September 11, 2001. Read more »

In the Spotlight