Obama condemned for acting like Bush

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Relations between the US and Iran over the protests deteriorated sharply yesterday when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused Barack Obama of behaving like his predecessor, George W Bush, and declared there was no point in talking to Washington unless the US President apologised.

The American response to the crackdown on the protests had been initially low-key and Britain, rather than the "Great Satan", had been the focus of anger for Iran's rulers.

But Mr Obama has hardened his position saying he was "appalled and outraged" by the suppression of dissent. He also dismissed Tehran's claims that outsiders orchestrated the disturbances. The State Department has withdrawn invitations to Iranian diplomats to the Independence Day celebrations on 4 July.

President Ahmadinejad said yesterday that "Mr Obama made a mistake to say those things... our question is why he fell into this trap and said things that previously Bush used to say."

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