Obama scoffs at Ahmadinejad's demand for apology

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Not only isn't he apologizing, President Barack Obama is again denouncing the Iranian government's actions, describing as "outrageous'' the violence that's been used against protesters.

Obama today scoffed at a demand by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for Obama to apologize for meddling in Iran's affairs. Instead, Obama replied that the Iranian government should "think carefully'' about the answers it owes to the protesters who've been arrested, beaten and killed.

He spoke at a White House news conference following a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She was among several European leaders who spoke out quickly and forcefully about the unrest in Iran that followed the elections earlier this month. As he offered his first direct criticism of Iran's leaders, Obama also gave a boost to opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, saying that Mousavi has "captured the imagination or the spirit'' of those within Iran who want the country to become more open.

It may have been an effort to clarify a remark made by Obama last week in a TV interview, when he said there may not be much difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi.