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Iran Supreme Leader Responds To Obama's New Year Message

Source: RFE/RL

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has responded dismissively to U.S. President Barack Obama's Persian New Year (Norouz) message.

Khamenei addresses the nation on the occasion of Norouz

Khamenei, who holds the final word on political and religious matters under Iran's post-revolutionary constitution, by saying the Obama administration "claimed interest in just and fair relations" but revealed the "opposite" in its actions.

Obama on March 20 pledged to "sustain our commitment to a more hopeful future for the Iranian people" despite "differences" with the Iranian government. He stressed that a U.S. offer of diplomatic dialogue still stands.

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Khamenei's remarks were carried on state television as part of his New Year's message.

Last year, just two months after taking office, Obama used a Norouz message to Iranians to seek a "new beginning."

compiled from Reuters and RFE/RL reports

Copyright (c) 2010 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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