President Obama said Tuesday that from the U.S.'s perspective there isn't a huge difference between the election's declared winner, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the reformist alternative, Mir Hossein Mousavi, who claims the election was stolen.

In an interview with CNBC, Obama was asked about the continued unrest in Iran following last week's election.

"First of all, it's important to understand that although there is amazing fervor taking place in Iran," Obama said, "the difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as has been advertised."

"Either way," the president went on, "we're going to be dealing with an Iranian regime that has been hostile to the United States."

Obama has been careful in commenting on the Iranian election. Earlier Tuesday, he said the election has shown that some Iranians do not agree with the country's previous "antagonistic postures" toward the international community.

Still, Obama has been also careful not to "meddle" in the election.

In the CNBC interview, Obama said he is focused on long term goals with Iran, including stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com