US President Barack Obama said inflammatory anti-Israel rhetoric by Iran's president "hurts Iran's position in the world."
The president spoke to reporters Tuesday about comments made at a United Nations world racism conference by Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The United States did not participate in the conference. Dozens of Western diplomats walked out during Ahmadinejad's speech on Monday when he called Israel the "most cruel and repressive racist regime."
Obama said he will continue to pursue the possibility of improved relations with Iran on critical issues, including a standoff over its nuclear program.
But he said the rhetoric of the Iranian leader "actually hurts Iran's position in the world."