By Glenn Kessler

President Obama reacted to the unfolding events in Iran by issuing a statement calling on the government of Iran to "stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people."

The White House said the president had been monitoring the situation during the day, meeting repeatedly with senior advisers. But the statement largely echoed the president's measured response since the election crisis began a week ago.

"The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching," the president's statement said. "The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights."

The president has not yet said whether he thinks the election was stolen but he hinted at that with a reference to "truth" in the later part of his statement.

"Martin Luther King once said -- 'The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.' I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples' belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness," the president said.

The president also linked the response of the Iranian government to this crisis to its desire for a greater role in the region. "If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion," the president said.

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