Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ah, a better story about Iran's response to Obama's message, based on things that happened in real time

Because most of the stories that came out originally made it sound like Iran was taking a hardline against the U.S. as evidenced by the Supreme Leader not compromising in the face of Obama's olive branch. But the flaw there was that, as revealed in a story about it in "The Guardian", the message from Khamenei was pre-recorded before Obama had even sent his message, meaning that it wasn't truly a considered rejection of Obama's sentiments. Ahmadinejad's office was more conciliatory.

Now Khatami has presented a direct response to Obama that is open while being honest about the relationship of the U.S. to Iran and to the Middle East in general:

""If you change your attitude, we will change our attitude," Khamenei said in a groundbreaking address to thousands of Iranians in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad which was broadcast on state television.

Speaking a day after Obama offered Tehran a "new beginning" to turn back the tide on decades of mutual animosity, Khamenei -- the final decision maker on Iranian strategic issues -- said however Iran is yet to see any change in Washington's attitude towards Tehran.

"We have no experience with the new American government and the new American president. We will observe them and we will judge," he said.

"We cannot see any change. What is the change in your policy? Did you remove the sanctions [against Iran]? Did you stop supporting the Zionist regime? Tell us what you have changed. We can't see change even in the words of the new American president. Change only in words is not enough. Change must be real," Khamenei said."

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