Obama Points To New Media In Bringing Iranian Struggles To World


In his first non-primetime news conference, which was covered live by the major news networks, President Barack Obama pointed to the power of new media to bring the struggle in Iran to the world.

Opening the press conference with a reference to the violence in that country, he said that the Iranian people can speak for themselves in the ongoing debate about their future.

"That is precisely what has happened these last few days. In 2009, no iron fist is strong enough to shut off the world from bearing witness to the peaceful pursuit of justice. Despite the Iranian government's efforts to expel journalists and isolate itself, powerful images and poignant words have made their way to us through cell phones and computers," he said, "and so we have watched what the Iranian people are doing."

He also referenced what has become an iconic image in a matter of days, the cell phone video of the shooting death June 20 of a young woman, Iranian Neda Soltan.

"[We] have seen courageous women stand up to brutality and threats, and we have experienced the searing image of a woman bleeding to death on the street. While this loss is raw and painful, we also know this: those who stand up for justice are always on the right side of history."

At the Radio-Television Correspondents Association dinner Friday night, the president had given a shout-out to the citizen jousrnalists with cell phones and computers who were helping get news out of Iran about the post-election violence.