Source: Press TV
Gentler approach challenges anti-US regimes, analysts say
'Great Satan' image suffers under Obama
WASHINGTON - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has an Obama problem. So does the leadership of Al Qaeda. Obama also presents a challenge to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, and other leaders who have utilized anti-American feeling to strengthen their grips on power.
Iranian minister says he's optimistic about US
BAGHDAD (AP): Iran's foreign minister said Wednesday he was optimistic that conditions throughout the Middle East will improve if President Barack Obama sticks by promises for change that he made during the U.S. election campaign. Manouchehr Mottaki made his remarks one day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared his country was ready for talks with the United States "in a fair atmosphere with mutual respect."
Russia says the "fresh approach" of Barack Obama's administration will help
unlock the international gridlock over Iran's nuclear issue.
During talks with European Union officials on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticized the foreign policies of the previous US administration regarding Iran.
Under former US president George W. Bush, Washington pursued a carrot-and-stick policy toward Tehran over its nuclear program and by setting preconditions it snubbed calls by the Iranian president for talks on the long-standing dispute.
Earlier in 2006, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wrote an 18-page letter to president Bush that touched on religious values, history and international relations. The letter was widely viewed as an offer extended to the United States for dialogue.
President Obama, however, has signaled willingness to soften the Bush administration's line against talking to Iran and has vowed to move toward direct dialogue with Iranian officials over the country's nuclear program.
In his first White House news conference on Monday, President Obama said that he saw the possibility of diplomatic openings with Iran in the months ahead where both sides "can start sitting across the table, face to face."
Lavrov expressed hope that the United States' "fresh approach that seems noticeable in regard to Iran, will be able to make a more effective contribution in resolving these questions than in recent years."
"We attach particular significance to the declared intention of the new Washington administration to start direct dialogue with Iran," Lavrov added at the news conference with EU foreign policy Chief Javier Solana.
Western countries have confronted Iran over its nuclear program, saying the country seeks to build a nuclear weapon.
Under this allegation, the UN Security Council has intervened in Iran's nuclear case and has so far imposed three rounds of sanctions against the country, requiring it to halt uranium enrichment.
Russia is among the six powers, comprising of the five permanent members of the UNSC; United States, China, Russia, France, Britain plus Germany, involved in Iran's nuclear case.
"We're sure this will help the common efforts of the six" in dealing with the Iranian nuclear case, Lavrov said referring to Washington's willingness for unconditional negotiations with Tehran.
Earlier on Tuesday, Iran's president welcomed dialogue with the US provided that the tone for change in the new administration is not just a tactical one.
"This change must be fundamental, not a mere tactical move," said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "The Iranian nation is ready to hold talks but talks in a climate of fairness with mutual respect."
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