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U.S. no longer to extend invitation to Iran for Independent Day celebrations

2009-06-25 08:16 BJT

Special Report: Iran presidential election 09 |

WASHINGTON, June 24 (Xinhua) -- The United States will no longer to extend invitation to Iranian diplomats for the Independence Day celebrations overseas after first invitation was extended with no response, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Wednesday.

"Many weeks ago the administration extended an invitation to celebrate the freedom that this country enjoys. Not surprisingly, based on what we see going on in Tehran, nobody has RSVP'd," Gibbs told reporters at the daily press briefing, referring to Iran's post-election situation.

"Understand what -- and you all do -- July 4 allows us to celebrate the freedom and the liberty we enjoy, ... so I don't think it's surprising that nobody has signed up to come. Given the events of the past many days, those invitations will no longer be extended," said the spokesman.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly also confirmed that there is not any Iranian diplomat has replied the invitation.

As one of new overtures to Iran, a country that Washington has shun since 1980, the Obama administration has reportedly permitted all U.S. embassies and consulates to invite Iran's diplomats to attend the Independent Day celebrations.

The possible interaction between the two countries, however, has been facing uncertainties due to the post-election situation in Iran.

Reports here say that some 10 people reportedly have been killed and hundreds of others wounded during clashes between Iran riot police and thousand of protesters who were staging protests against the results from the June 12 presidential election.

President Barack Obama, speaking at a press conference Tuesday, condemned the Iranian government's "unjust actions," saying the United States has been "appealed and outraged by the threats, beatings, and imprisonments of the last few days."

The president, who is seeking a "direct diplomacy" to persuade Tehran to abandon nuclear program, said that his administration has been "still waiting to see" how Iran would respond to the goodwill engagement from Washington.

Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: Xinhua