Iran’s supreme leader dismisses Obama overtures

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed overtures from President Barak Obama 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 to Iran on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian new year.

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is shown in Tehran, ... 
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 Mashhad, Khamenei asked how Obama could congratulate Iranians on the new year and accuse the country of supporting terrorism and seeking nuclear weapons in the same message.

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2 Responses to “Iran’s supreme leader dismisses Obama overtures”

  1. Phil Says:

    I think it is understandable considering the past. In the 50s in Iran there was the first democratically elected president. But the US installed a cruel dictator – which yielded ’78 in the islamic revolution. Maybe Iran would had become a democracy until now…
    In the 80s there was war between Irak and Iran. US served Irak with weapons and cheap loans. Hundred thousands of Iranians died – over 20,000 because of chemical weapons.
    Well and ’88 the US shot – by accident – a Iranian civilian plane. 290 people died! The US yet did not even apologize for that…

    What do you expect?

  2. sparks Says:

    I think you don’t hold a hand out to terrorists all obama did was tell them he will not stop them we see from Isreal constantly bowing to the palestinian terrorist giving in to their demands that it gets you nowhere they on the other hand see it as weakness and attack even harder either obama is a complete idiot or he is selling us out deliberately to the enemy either way we are in for a hell of a ride I pray for Isreal because they are now alone and Iran’s evil leader now knows it and will go forward with building his nuclear weapons with intent to “wipe Isreal off the map” it won’t happen but it will start armeggedon

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