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Iran's Supreme Leader Hails Obama Remarks

Source: RFE/RL

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has welcomed recent comments by U.S. President Barack Obama emphasizing diplomacy -- not military action -- to resolve the standoff over the Iranian nuclear program.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with members of Assembly of Experts

On March 6, Obama said diplomacy can still resolve the nuclear standoff and that Iran's nuclear program was not an immediate threat.

Obama also criticized those who beat "the drums of war."

Khamenei's website quoted him telling clerics from Iran's Assembly of Experts that Obama's words are "good talk" and show "an exit from illusion."

Khamenei's comments come after this week's decision by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany to resume talks with Tehran on the nuclear issue.

In a joint statement released at a board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna on March 8, the United States, China, Russia, France, Britain, and Germany said upcoming talks with Tehran on the nuclear topic must be "serious," without preconditions, and should produce "concrete results." The statement also urged Iran to permit international inspectors to visit a military site where the UN nuclear watchdog says development work relevant to nuclear weapons may have taken place.

The Islamic republic says its nuclear program is not aimed at developing nuclear weapons.

With AFP and AP reporting


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