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"Deeply Troubled"

8:19 AM, Jun 16, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Ben Smith TEXT

And on Monday, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the U.S. is "deeply troubled" by events in Iran but stopped short of condemning them.

"I haven't used that word, ‘condemn,'" he told the State Department press corps. "We need to see how things unfold."

"You need to see more heads cracked in the middle of the street?" Fox News' James Rosen shot back.

"We need a deeper assessment of what's going on," Kelly said.

Earlier in the briefing, though, Kelly gave clearer expression to the administration's dilemma: "We have to look at our own national interest too - nonproliferation is a very important priority in this administration," he said.

Lieberman and Cantor:

"I would hope that President Obama and members of both parties in Congress will speak out, loudly and clearly, about what is happening in Iran right now and unambiguously express their solidarity with the brave Iranians who went to the polls in the hope of change and who are now looking to the outside world for strength and support," Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Sunday.

"The administration's silence in the face of Iran's brutal suppression of democratic rights represents a step backwards for homegrown democracy in the Middle East," said House GOP whip Eric Cantor of Virginia.