Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Video grab of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - 10/2/2009
Mr Ahmadinejad said change from the US must be fundamental, not tactical

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he would welcome talks with the US as long as they were based on "mutual respect".

Speaking on the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran, he said Iran would welcome change from the US as long as it was "fundamental".

He said: "The Iranian nation is ready to hold talks... in a fair atmosphere."

The two nations cut ties in 1979 after the revolution, when the US embassy in Tehran was occupied for 444 days.

"The new US administration has announced that they want to produce change and pursue the course of dialogue," Mr Ahmadinejad said at a rally attended by thousands of people. "It is quite clear that real change must be fundamental and not tactical. It is clear the Iranian nation welcomes real changes and is ready for dialogue in a climate of equality and mutual respect."

Mr Ahmadinejad's remarks come a day after US President Barack Obama said he was "looking at places where we can have constructive dialogue" with Iran.

The US severed diplomatic ties with Iran after the US-backed Shah was overthrown in 1979 and the US embassy in Tehran was occupied by students for more than a year, with dozens of diplomats and staff held hostage.

Relations have worsened further in recent years as the US has led efforts to prevent Iran from further developing its nuclear programme, which some Western nations fear will lead to nuclear weapons.

Tehran says its nuclear programme is for civilian, energy-generating purposes only.

On Monday Mr Obama said that his administration was looking for "openings that can be created where we can start sitting across the table face-to-face".

It was the latest in a series of positive remarks he has made about the possibility of direct US-Iranian talks.

"I think there's the possibility, at least, of a relationship of mutual respect and progress," Mr Obama said, but "it's time now for Iran to send some signals that it wants to act differently."

Mr Obama's predecessor, George Bush, famously included Iran in what he called "Axis of Evil", along with North Korea and Saddam Hussein's Iraq.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think its great that Iran and the US will sit and face one another across a table. Its long overdue. President Obama will have the opportunity to call it the way he sees it and Iran can do the same. Talking is what its all about, enough of the fear mongering and weapons building, its time to get along. I firmly believe that religion is the cause of so much of the suffering in the world. Its a disease that has killed millions of people. I truly believe that President Obama understands the complete picture of the Iranian complexity, when it comes to dealing with the US.

2:27 am  

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