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Saturday in Iran: Deadly crackdown, Obama finally condemns; some foreign embassies reportedly accepting injured

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By Michelle Malkin  •  June 20, 2009 10:59 AM

Scroll down for updates…Reported 30-40 dead in Tehran after civilians clash with Basij…Obama finally gets off the fence and opens his mouth…

U.S. media are relying on state TV to figure out what’s going on today in the streets of Iran.

And, like everyone else, they are relying on Twitter to ferret out the truth. Keep up at #iranelection.

Ed and Allahpundit have a massive, running post updating all the latest developments. Bookmark and refresh here.

Iranian blogger Madyar has fresh photos of the basij mobilizing against the citizenry:

Despite the mullahs’ draconian and desperate efforts to shut down the information flow, the world is watching.

***

What the AP is reporting:

Witnesses said police beat protesters and fired tear gas and water cannons at thousands who rallied in Tehran Saturday in open defiance of Iran’s clerical government, sharply escalating the most serious internal conflict since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The eyewitnesses described fierce clashes near Revolution Square in central Tehran after some 3,000 protesters chanted “Death to the dictator!” and “Death to dictatorship!” Police responded with tear gas and water cannons.

The witnesses told The Associated Press that between 50 and 60 protesters were seriously beaten by police and pro-government militia and taken to Imam Khomeini hospital in central Tehran. People could be seen dragging away comrades bloodied by baton strikes.

***

Breaking photos at Demotix. Must-see.

President Obama finally gets off the fence:

President Obama on Saturday called on the Iranian government to “stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people” amid calls for the White House to go further in showing support for the Iranian people after the country’s disputed elections.

Republicans, in particular, have pressed Obama to speak out more forcefully, as protesters and authorities clashed Saturday in Tehran during a government crackdown.

“The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights,” Obama said in a written statement.

Obama referenced his this month speech to the Muslim world, saying “suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion.”

Obama also cited the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s, famous quote: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

“I believe that,” Obama said. “The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.”

Full belated statement is on the WH blog here.

***

Twitter reports of foreign embassies accepting injured protesters.

And others not: Canada?

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