Obama must speak out on Iran, ex-advisor says

(CNN) — U.S. President Barack Obama must speak out and declare that some of the behavior of the clerical regime in Iran is unacceptable, former Obama administration official Ray Takeyh said Monday.

Takeyh, who served as an adviser in the State Department last year and is now at the Council on Foreign Relations, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour the U.S. must also be open to negotiating some sort of deal to limit Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“You can have negotiations with Iran, as the United States has had negotiations with many adversarial countries while also at the same time disapproving on the internal practices of those regimes,” he said.

Takeyh’s comments came just over a week after the bloodiest clashes between pro-democracy protesters and government security forces in months, clashes that left at least eight people dead. Days after those clashes, hundreds of thousands of pro-government demonstrators held rallies in Tehran and other cities.

Those protests coincided with new tensions over Iran’s nuclear program, a program the United States says is intended to build a nuclear weapon. Tehran insists its nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes alone and says it’s up to the West to decide whether to accept Iran’s proposals on further enriching its uranium.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday the United States remains open to the possibility of further negotiations with Tehran, despite Iran’s … >>>

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