Ahmadinejad, first Iranian leader to congratulate US President elect since 1979

November 7th, 2008 - 2:01 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Washington, Nov 7 (ANI): In a landmark gesture, Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad congratulated Barack Obama on his historic win, becoming the first Iranian leader to offered such wishes to the 44 th US President elect since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Ahmadinejad sent a message to Obama in which he congratulated the President elect on attracting the majority of voters in the election, and said he hopes Obama will use the opportunity to serve the (American) people and leave a good name for history during his term in office.

Obama has said he is open to direct diplomacy with Iranian leaders as a way to break the impasse between the two countries or give the US more credibility to press for tougher sanctions if talks on its nuclear program fail, CBS News reported.

In his message to Obama on Thursday, Ahmadinejad went on to say that nations of the world expect changes from Obama - mostly that he will change current US foreign policy.

That policy, the note claimed, was based on warmongering, occupation, bullying, deception and humiliation, as well as discrimination and unfair relations and has led to hatred of all nations and majority of governments toward the US leaders.

Ahmadinejad also said that Obama is expected to replace such a policy with an approach based on justice and respect, as well as lack of intervention in the affairs of others.

Iranians will welcome such changes, Ahmadinejad added.

The new US President elect policy marks a departure from that of the Bush Administration, which has refused to engage Iranian leaders, CBS News said.

Iran and US have no formal diplomatic relations since 1979 and the hostage drama when militant Iranian students held 52 Americans captive 444 days.

At present US-Iranian relations remain tense, with Washington accusing Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons and of providing support for Shiite militants who are killing American soldiers in Iraq. The charges are denied by Iran.

Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, a contender for Prime Minister in her countrys elections, warned against any dialogue with Iran - a first sign of Israeli disagreement with the incoming Obama Administration.

Israeli officials describe Iran as the biggest threat to the Jewish states existence, citing Ahmadinejads frequent calls for Israels destruction and its development of long-range missiles capable of striking the Jewish state.

Livni has repeatedly said she hopes international diplomacy prevails. But she doesnt rule out force if UN sanctions dont pressure Iran to scale back its nuclear aims. (ANI)

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