Iran welcomes Obamas outreach, but cautiouslyMarch 21st, 2009 - 3:14 pm ICT by ANI
Tehran, Mar.21 (ANI): Iran has cautiously welcomed US President Barack Obamas videotaped message for a new beginning between the two countries.
Ali Akbar Javanfekr, an aide to Iranian President Ahmadinejad, said: The Iranian nation has shown that it can forget hasty behaviour.
Iran, he said, would not show its back to Obama if the US put its words into practice.
The new administration in Washington needed a fundamental change in attitude, he added. The video, which aides said took weeks to prepare and was taped in the White House on Wednesday, was aired yesterday morning to coincide with the start of the major Persian festival of Nowruz, which marks the beginning of spring and the Iranian new year.
Ahmadinejad and the countrys Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, did not mention the overture in speeches marking the 12-day holiday.
In a rare gesture from Israel, President Shimon Peres also sent a greeting to the people of Iran, praising what he called a great and ancient culture and saying that they would be better off without their hard-line leadership. On the streets of Tehran, the reaction to Obamas speech was mixed.
Some hoped it would help melt the ice between the two governments, but others were less optimistic.
Obama told Iranians: You too have a choice. The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations. You have that right, but it comes with real responsibilities, and that place cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilisation.
Last night, Obamas press secretary Robert Gibb said the administration had already planned a next phase to encourage dialogue with Tehran. (ANI)
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