Obama optimistic about 'change' in Iran elections

President Obama expressed hope Friday that in Iran, where polls just closed in the country's presidential election, "robust debate" that has occurred in the country will bring with it the "possibility of change."

Obama, speaking in the Rose Garden at the White House, said he is "excited to see what looks like a robust debate taking place in Iran."

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was facing a tough reelection fight against Mir Hossein Mousavi, and turnout and interest in the race is reported to be at a frenzy.

Obama said regardless of who wins, "the fact that there's been a robust debate hopefully will help advance our ability to engage them in new ways."

The president said that after the speech he made in Cairo, Egypt, earlier this month, "we tried to send a clear message that we think there is the possibility of change."

"And, you know, ultimately the election is for the Iranians to decide," Obama said. "But just as has been true in Lebanon, what can be true in Iran, as well, is that you're seeing people looking at new possibilities."