Iran’s Supreme Leaderdismissed overtures from on Saturday, saying Tehran does not see any change in U.S. policy under its new administration.
Khamenei’s comments were the first top level reaction to a video message Obama released Friday in which he reached out toon the occasion of Nowruz, the .
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is shown in Tehran, Iran, in this Friday March 14, 2008 file photo. Khamenei has dismissed overtures from U.S. President Barak Obama Saturday March 21, 2009, saying Tehran doesn’t see any change in American policy toward its government.(AP photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian, File)
Khamenei holds the last word on major policy decisions, and how Iran ultimately responds to any concrete U.S. effort to engage the country will depend largely on his say.
In his most direct assessment of Obama and prospects for improved ties, Khamenei said there will be no change between the two countries unless the American president puts an end to U.S. hostility toward Iran and brings “real changes” in foreign policy.
“They chant the slogan of change but no change is seen in practice. We haven’t seen any change,” Khamenei said in his speech, which was broadcast live on state television.
In his video message, Obama said the United States wants to engage Iran and improve decades of strained relations, but he also warned that a right place for Iran in the international community “cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization.”
Speaking to tens of thousands of people in the northeastern holy city of Iranians on the new year and accuse the country of supporting terrorism and seeking nuclear weapons in the same message., Khamenei asked how Obama could congratulate