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Iranian ayatollah wishes Obama good luck

DPA, Tehran - An Iranian Ayatollah on Friday wished US President Barack Obama good luck in implementing his new foreign policies. Speaking at the weekly Friday prayer ceremony in Tehran, Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani said Obama's remarks in his inauguration speech- that the world was changing and US should change with it - were positive.

"We wish him good luck and success in implementing these changes in practice," said the ayatollah, who is a senior member of Iran's ultra-conservative faction.

In line with previous remarks by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the ayatollah also said that Iran would be patient with the new US administration.



Senior Cleric: US Downgraded in Bush Era

TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Tehran's interim Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Emami Kashani described the era of George W. Bush as a source of humiliation for the American people, military and Bush himself.

"Bush said eight years ago that 'I want to bring US military out of isolation and give it honor and respect in the world' and announced a crusade war against Muslims," Emami Kashani said, addressing a large, fervent congregation of worshippers on Tehran University Campus on Friday.

"Now, after eight years, everybody must take lessons from developments during this era and see for himself if the US military has been humiliated or honored," he said.

Referring to Bush's announcement that "When I go home tonight and I look into the mirror, I'm not going to regret what I see" Kashani said, "The world is Bush's mirror and he must watch and see what the world says about him."

"The people of the world have been mobilized against the United States and everybody in the world is shouting down with Bush," he added, referring to the Bush administration's support for criminals, its function in Iraq and Afghanistan and the US military behavior in Abu Ghraib, and Guant?namo prisons.

Regarding Iran's stance on the new US administration, Kashani said, "We must wait and see. Our policy should not be aggressive or passive."

Tehran's interim Friday Prayers Leader also added, "We are happy when Obama acknowledges that it is time of change."

Obama urged to overlook Israeli interests

Brigadier General Mir-Faisal Baqerzadeh
Press TV - US President Barack Obama should distance himself from the Israeli government as a first step toward change, says an Iranian official.

IRGC Brigadier General Mir-Faisal Baqerzadeh insisted on Saturday that the US extends blind support for Israel, calling on Obama to understand the consequences of Israeli actions in the region.

"American philosopher William James once said that 'the art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook'. Now, the time has come for the new US administration to overlook Israeli interests in its policies," said Baqerzadeh.

According to the Iranian official, the 44th US president cannot claim to be able to bring significant change in the ways and means of Washington unless he can end the "biased White House approach" toward the Palestinians.

Although Obama has repeatedly promised to resolve the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he remained silent on the Israeli assault on Gaza and drew criticism, especially in the Muslim world.

This is while the US president had been quick to make statements about the Mumbai terrorist attacks and a range of other issues.

His bid to appoint former Senate majority leader George J. Mitchell (D-Maine) as the Washington envoy to the Middle East has nevertheless been widely touted as a positive step.

"[The] choice of Mitchell sends a clear signal that the United States is going to be back to being an honest broker and will move away from being Israel's lawyer," says Nadia Hijab, a senior fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies in Washington.

American neoconservatives and pro-Israeli groups have criticized the appointment of Mitchell, saying his reputation of being "fair and even-handed" may come at the expense of Israeli interests.

... Payvand News - 01/24/09 ... --

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