Rice denounces Iran 'show trials'

WASHINGTON — US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice on Sunday condemned what she described as "show trials" for demonstrators in Iran who protested the results of June's disputed presidential election.

"These are show trials and they are clearly a demonstration of the fact that the Iranian leadership is not reconciled to the concerns of its people regarding the validity of the elections," Rice told CNN.

"It's unfortunate. It's to be condemned," she added of the series of prosecutions of individuals who demonstrated in the wake of a controversial presidential election that saw President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad return to power.

"Our view is that if Iran wants to demonstrate that it is prepared to be a responsible member of the international community, then it needs to treat its people with respect and adhere to the rule of law," Rice said. "Unfortunately, these show trials are in the opposite direction."

Rice said reports that some of the demonstrators had been tortured "are of grave concern" to the United States.

But she nonetheless insisted that President Barack Obama's offer to start a dialogue on Iran's nuclear program is still open.

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