AFP: The White House on Friday denied there are any differences between US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on how to react to the protests over the presidential election results in Iran.
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The White House on Friday denied there are any differences between US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on how to react to the protests over the presidential election results in Iran.
To write that Biden criticized some of Obama's remarks is "incorrect," his spokesman James Carney told AFP.
Sources familiar with Biden's position said the vice president privately called it a "mistake" when Obama on Tuesday played down differences between Iran's incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and rival Mir Hossein Mousavi.
There has been fierce debate in the United States about Obama's reaction to the Iran protests — with some saying he has not given enough support to the Tehran demonstrators.
By minimizing policy differences between Ahmadinejad — who claimed victory in the disputed election — and Mousavi, whose supporters have flooded the streets, Obama has angered conservatives and put the White House and some Democrats on the back foot.
The New York Times reported Thursday that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had hoped Obama would lend more vocal support to the demonstrators.
But a State Department spokesman, Philip Crowley, insisted Obama and Clinton agreed on Iran. "I don't think there's any daylight between the position of the president and the position of the secretary of state," Crowley said.
Foreign Policy magazine's Laura Rozen wrote that events in Iran have forced the White House "to not just recalibrate its messaging on a daily basis, but rethink the fundamental underpinnings of its policy toward the Islamic Republic and the region.
"Numerous outside Iran experts have been asked to meet with the White House, NSC (National Security Council), and State Department in recent days… to advise the administration on messaging, language, their analysis of what's underway, and how the situation might develop," she wrote in the blog "The Cable."