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Cantor keeps up Iran criticism

From NBC's Mark Murray
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor

has fired off another tough statement criticizing President Obama's measured response to the protests and violence after Iran's disputed presidential election.

The human tragedy continues in Iran. Around the world, people are inspired by the courage of the Iranian people fighting for free elections, using new media tools like Twitter to ensure their voices are heard by all of us. America has a moral responsibility to stand up for these brave people, to defend human rights, and to condemn the violence and abuses by the regime in Tehran.

The Administration's position that what's going on in Iran is a "vigorous debate" is absurd. People are being brutalized and murdered by the regime in Tehran. We have no idea exactly how many have died or have been seriously injured, since the regime has restricted journalists. In no way do these actions constitute a "vigorous debate."

In fact, Obama has spoken out about the violence in Iran, albeit carefully. As he told CNBC's John Harwood earlier this week, "When you've got 100,000 people who are out on the streets peacefully protesting, and they're having to be scattered through violence and gunshots, what that tells me is the Iranian people are not convinced of the legitimacy of the election. And my hope is that the regime responds not with violence, but with recognition that the universal principles of peaceful expression and democracy are ones that should be affirmed."