By Tracie Potts
WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) - President Obama stepped up his tone against the violence in Iran Tuesday, saying he's "appalled and outraged" by response to political protests. He urged Iran's government to bow to the will of its people.
His comments came in a mid-afternoon White House news conference, in which the President also talked about energy and the health care debate underway on Capitol Hill.
President Obama made Iran his number one issue, warning its government that all citizens, even those who disagree with the outcome of democratic elections, have the right to protest peacefully.
"If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect those rights, and heed the will of its own people," he said.
The President then turned to domestic issues, urging Congress to pass a clean energy bill that would encourage wind, solar and geo-thermal power.
Finally, Mr. Obama addressed what's become a political issue on Capitol Hill: Fixing health care. He focused on how to pay for universal coverage and other reforms. Plans now being debated would cost a trillion dollars or more.
"This is legislation that will be paid for," the President said. "It will not add to our deficits over the next decade. We will find the money through savings and efficiencies within the health care system."
Republicans argue health care is being rushed through Congress without their input. The President wants a plan on his desk by October.