“Let me correct a little bit of what I said yesterday,” Gibbs told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Indiana. “I denoted that Mr. Ahmadinejad was the elected leader of Iran. I would say it’s not for me to pass judgment on.”
Gibbs said it is a fact that Ahmadinejad had been inaugurated. He was sworn in for a second four-year term Wednesday. The ceremony in Iran’s parliament was boycotted by opposition leaders who accuse the regime of rigging the June election.
“Whether any election was fair, obviously the Iranian people still have questions about that and we’ll let them decide that,” Gibbs said.
Asked whether the White House recognized Ahmadinejad as Iran’s leader – whether fairly elected or not – Gibbs replied, “It’s not for me or for us to denote his legitimacy, except to acknowledge the fact.” (source)
Once again the President of the United States is showing his hypocrisy by “Picking his spots” as to when it is OK to get involved with the internal affairs of other countries. In just the past few weeks he has bashed both Honduras and Israel for following the rulings of their Supreme court. On other occasions the Administration has “denoted the legitimacy” of elections:
Despite Gibbs’ reluctance to pass judgment on whether Iran’s election was fair, the administration has not hesitated to air its opinions on elections elsewhere. Since taking office, it has done so on numerous occasions, mostly in cases where it has approved of the process:
President Obama in July congratulated Indonesia’s president for winning a “free and fair” election; and during his visit to Ghana, Obama praised the West African nation for “peaceful transfers of power even in the wake of closely contested elections.”
Vice President Joe Biden in May congratulated Kosovo for its “record of free and fair elections,” and made similar remarks in Ukraine in July.
State Department spokesman Ian Kelly in May described India’s just-completed voting exercise as “the largest free and fair election in history.”
He and other department spokesmen also characterized Montenegro’s election in March as “free and fair” and El Salvador’s in March as “very free, fair, and democratic”; described Ecuador’s presidential election in April “peaceful and transparent”; said South Africa’s national poll in April was “transparent and democratic”; described as “peaceful and democratic” Macedonia’s presidential and municipal elections in April; called Mongolia’s presidential election in May “free and peaceful”; and said Lebanon’s legislative election in June was “by every indication … free and fair.”
The administration has also spoken out in cases where the process has been troubling.
On July 23, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was re-elected with 76 percent of the vote, in an election condemned by monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
The State Department in a July 27 statement said it shared the observers’ concerns and the OSCE findings “that the election was marred by widespread irregularities including ballot box stuffing, multiple voting, and misuse of government resources.”
A key ingredient of a successful foreign policy is consistency.This is not consistency. In fact, when you look at how the POTUS reacts, you would think that there were two sets of rules, one for friends of Islamists and Victor Chavez, the other for everyone else. That will lead to more problems than international friendships.