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Israeli lobby hindering change in US: Khatami

Press TV - Reformist figure Mohammad Khatami says the all-powerful Israeli lobby in the US stands in the way of President Barack Obama's quest to bring change to Washington.

In a Sunday interview with Newsweek, Iran's former president Mohammad Khatami said he believes that Obama has genuine intentions to make changes in US ways and means, but is incapable of doing so due to increased pressure from pro-Israeli groups.

"I think Mr. Obama truly wants to have a real change inside America and in terms of America's relations with the rest of the world. The question is whether these reforms will be cosmetic changes or substantial ones. The United States has a strong system of governance with its own policies and traditions, we can't expect one person to change the decision making process."

Replying a question about the main obstacles in the way of Obama, former Iranian President said "One of the biggest obstacles is the Israeli and Zionist lobby. They are a very strong lobby both financially and in the media. They can create negative publicity and psychological warfare at times when they see Israel's interest is in jeopardy," he said.

Khatami said that Israeli lobbying in US policies is to such extent that many people have come to believe that "the real capital of the United States has been transferred to Tel Aviv".

The reformist figure, however, said Obama must be given time to suit his action to his words. "I hope he has the courage to act upon his ideas for real change," he added.

When asked about a US-Iran reconcilement, Khatami said that although the scars from decades of US antagonism run deep in Iran, the country would let bygones be bygones if Washington takes practical steps to mend its ways.

"The negative view of America in Iran doesn't only exist in the Iranian government but among the Iranian nation in general ...They remember events such as the 1953 coup ... and the sanctions and embargoes after the revolution," he said.

He also urged Washington to correct its insular mindset and respect the rest of the world.

"The United States thinks of itself as the "big brother" of the Europeans and the industrialized world and thinks of itself as the master of the Islamic and Third World countries. If this attitude changes, then we can sit down and decide what are the common interests of Iran and the United States."

... Payvand News - 05/25/09 ... --

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