Iran: Ahmadinejad “welcomes” Obama, appeals for “friendship”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a letter congratulating US president-elect Barack Obama, said his nation and the world expect “fundamental” changes to US policy, and “welcomed” the prospect for “justice, respect for human rights, friendship, and non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs.”

The text from Tehran Times, Nov. 8:

As you know, the opportunities provided by Almighty God, which can be used for the elevation of nations…are fleeting

I hope you will prefer real public interests and justice to the never-ending demands of a selfish minority and seize the opportunity to serve the people so that you will be remembered with high esteem.

On the other hand, the Americans who have spiritual tendencies expect the government to use all its energy…to serve the people, rectify the critical situation facing the US, restore its lost reputation as well as their hope and spirit, fully respect human rights, and strengthen the foundations of the family.

Other nations also expect war-oriented policies, occupation, bullying, contempt for nations, and the imposition of discriminatory policies…to be replaced by ones advocating justice, respect for human rights, friendship, and non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs.

They also want US intervention to be limited to its borders, especially in the Middle East. It is expected that the unfair attitude toward restoring the rights of the Palestinians, Iraqis, and Afghans will be revised.

The great nation of Iran welcomes fundamental and fair changes in US policy and actions, especially in the region.

See our last post on Iran.

  1. Iran slams Obama’s tough language on nuclear arms
    From AP, Nov. 8:

    Iran criticized President-elect Barack Obama for the first time Saturday, saying the world needs more than cosmetic changes in American foreign policy.

    The criticism from Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani followed Obama’s comment Friday that it is “unacceptable” for Iran to develop nuclear weapons and there should be a concerted international effort to prevent it.

    “Obama can understand that strategic changes in (American) policy are required, not just cosmetic changes,” Larijani told state television.

    “This is a step in the wrong direction,” he added. “If Americans want to change their situation in the region, they need to send good signals.”


    Asked about Iran at his first news conference since his election on Tuesday, Obama reiterated earlier statements saying he will move deliberately on how to respond to Iran and would not do it in a knee-jerk fashion.

    “Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon, I believe, is unacceptable. And we have to mount an international effort to prevent that from happening,” Obama told reporters.

    Iranian state radio said Obama’s position was a replay of Bush’s hard-line stance toward Tehran. It said this will dampen Iranian expectations for changes in U.S. foreign policy with the new administration.

    The radio warned Obama “will betray the vote of the American people if he fails to bring back rationalism to the White House.”

  2. Obama on board with policy-elite consensus for Iran attack?
    In a Nov. 3 opinion for the New York Times, “New Beltway Debate: What to Do About Iran,” Carol Giacomo notes a growing consensus among the Washington policy elite for military action against Iran. She includes this observation:

    One of the most thorough discussions is in a report by the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center, founded by four former senators — the Republicans Robert Dole and Howard Baker and Democrats Tom Daschle and George Mitchell — to devise policy solutions both parties might embrace.

    The report warns that the next administration “might have little time and fewer options to deal with this threat.” It explores such strategies as blockading Iran’s gasoline imports, but it also says that “a military strike is a feasible option and must remain a last resort.”

    Its authors include Dennis Ross, top Mideast adviser to Mr. Obama, and former Senator Dan Coats, a McCain adviser.

    As we’ve noted, Ross, a former Middle East negotiator under President Clinton, is one of the token neocon representatives on Obama’s team. In his capacity as director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), he testified before Congress in 2004 in support of Israel’s West Bank wall.

    See our last post on Obama and the neocons.