Washington vows to keep courting Tehran
Source: Press TV
The Obama administration promises to continue to
reach out to Iran, while Tehran urges 'real' change in continued 'hostile' US
Secretary of State
"We have a long held view that there are going to be difficult obstacles to
engaging in the short run with the Iranians, but we're going to continue to
reach out," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Mexico on Thursday.
In his Nowruz message marking the Iranian New Year (March 21), Obama said he was
ready to bring 'new beginnings' to the relations with Tehran, but he also
brought up accusations made by previous US administrations about Iran sponsoring
"We are doing what President Obama said we would do. We are reaching out to the
Iranian leadership but equally importantly to the Iranian people," she said
adding US President Barack Obama's message was an example of the
administration's outreach to Iran.
"I think his speech had a very positive effect and was certainly well received
by many of the people in Iran," said Clinton.
She failed, however, to recognize the unsavory effects of Obama's reference to
nuclear and terrorism allegations against Iran.
A day after Obama delivered his mixed message, Iran's most senior official and
the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei responded to the US leader
, criticizing his attack on the country's nuclear program.
"They congratulate Iranians on the New Year but at the same time they accuse
Iran of supporting terrorism and seeking nuclear arms," Ayatollah Khamenei said
The Leader said Washington had changed its 'tone', but had shown no sign that
there was any real change in the hostile policies adopted towards Iran since the
beginning of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
"They tell us to come and sit at the negotiating table. Under the slogan of
change, they say let's mend the ties. Where is the change? Clarify this for us."
"Have you released the frozen assets of the Iranian nation? Have you lifted
sanctions against us? Have you stopped spreading allegations against us?" the
Ayatollah Khamenei did not, however, rule out the possibility of a more
harmonious coexistence between the two states should Washington end its
animosity towards Iran.
"You change. We will change too," said Ayatollah Khamenei, stressing that US
change of policy must be 'genuine'.
The US welcomes Iran's participation in talks
over the increasing international cooperation in Afghanistan, due to take place
in the Netherlands.
US welcomes Iran in Afghan meeting
Following Iran's Foreign Ministry announcement on Thursday that Iran's
delegation would join a conference on Afghanistan in the Netherlands on March
31, the US State Department said in a statement that Iran's presence was 'a
"We do want this conference to be a regional conference. A regional conference
would be incomplete without Iran," US State Department spokesman, Gordon Duguid,
said on Thursday.
With the Taliban stepping up its insurgency and the deterioration of security
conditions in Afghanistan in the last two years, the United States is intent on
a conference that can strengthen international cooperation in the war-torn
The US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, will attend the meeting at
The Hague as the head of the US delegation. Richard Holbrooke, the special US
envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan will also attend the meeting.
Meanwhile, Clinton has rejected any plans for 'substantive' bilateral talks with
Iranian officials on the sidelines of the conference.
... Payvand News - 03/27/09 ... --