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Iran dismisses US overatures out of hand

AP

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed overtures from President Barak Obama on Saturday, saying Tehran does not see any change in U.S. policy under its new administration.

Khamenei's comments were the first top level reaction to a video message Obama released Friday in which he reached out to Iran on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian new year.

Khamenei holds the last word on major policy decisions, and how Iran ultimately responds to any concrete U.S. effort to engage the country will depend largely on his say.

In his most direct assessment of Obama and prospects for improved ties, Khamenei said there will be no change between the two countries unless the American president puts an end to U.S. hostility toward Iran and brings "real changes" in foreign policy.

"They chant the slogan of change but no change is seen in practice. We haven't seen any change," Khamenei said in his speech, which was broadcast live on state television.

In his video message, Obama said the United States wants to engage Iran and improve decades of strained relations, but he also warned that a right place for Iran in the international community "cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization."

Speaking to tens of thousands of people in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad, Khamenei asked how Obama could congratulate Iranians on the new year and accuse the country of supporting terrorism and seeking nuclear weapons in the same message.

"As long as the U.S. government continues the same policies and directions of the previous 30 years, we will be the same nation of the past 30 years," Khamenei said. "The Iranian nation can't be deceived or threatened."

Khamenei said there has been no change even in Obama's language compared to that of his predecessor.

"He (Obama) insulted the Islamic Republic of Iran from the first day. If you are right that change has come, where is that change? What is the sign of that change? Make it clear for us what has changed."

Khamenei enumerated a long list of Iranian grievances against the United States over the past 30 years and said the U.S. was still continuing its acts of interference in Iran's internal affairs now.

He mentioned U.S. sanctions against Iran, U.S. support for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during his 1980-88 war against Iran and the downing of an Iranian airliner over the Persian Gulf in 1988. He also accused the U.S. of provoking ethnic tension in Iran and said Washington's accusations that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons was evidence of U.S. hostility.

"Have you released Iranian assets? Have you lifted oppressive sanctions? Have you given up mudslinging and making accusations against the great Iranian nation and its officials? Have you given up your unconditional support for the Zionist regime? Even the language remains unchanged," Khamenei said.
Old 03-21-2009, 01:57 AM
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Its kind of expected. The President may be a little naive on this, but he is trying. Lets hope for the best.
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Old 03-21-2009, 05:57 AM
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At the very least, it should be pretty clear to the international community who the jerks are in this situation. It should be easier down the road to gather support if and when the bombs start dropping.
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:28 AM
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I doubt bombs will start dropping.
Old 03-21-2009, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by TheMentat View Post
At the very least, it should be pretty clear to the international community who the jerks are in this situation. It should be easier down the road to gather support if and when the bombs start dropping.
That wasn't clear before?
Old 03-21-2009, 09:40 AM
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I doubt bombs will start dropping.
I tend to agree, but it's possible. IMO if they do drop they'll probably have stars of david painted on them.
Old 03-21-2009, 09:45 AM
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I thought the"overature" was a spoof at first...it was quite gay . Apparently the guy that puts the stuff on his teleprompter did not research Noruz or Iran very well.

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Old 03-21-2009, 10:37 AM
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Obama's speech did not meet Iran's leaders at their level of reality.
.
Brigitte Gabriel's take:
.
"In Islamic thinking and Middle Eastern thinking, you only go to the negotiating table to negotiate your own surrender."
"He (Obama) didn't come across as a man."
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVbGmtxOcd0
.
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:21 PM
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At the very least, it should be pretty clear to the international community who the jerks are in this situation. It should be easier down the road to gather support if and when the bombs start dropping.
Riiiiggghhtt. Because the int'l. community always comes to their senses in the end and is so eager to realize the error of their ways. No matter what happens with Iran, the U.S. will be blamed, probably more so than Israel.
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:49 PM
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Welcome back, Carter....
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:10 AM
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Welcome back, Carter....
You beat me to it

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Old 03-22-2009, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
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"In Islamic thinking and Middle Eastern thinking, you only go to the negotiating table to negotiate your own surrender."
Thank you. I've been saying that for several years now.

In the minds of the Iranian leaders, they must assume that the U.S. is on the verge of collapse and we perceive Iran to be the greatest threat to us. Why else would we come crawling to them? This could have some very bad consequences as Iran may see this as its opportunity to rid the world of the "Great Satan". I wouldn't be surprised to see Iran start making overt attacks on U.S. ships in the Straits of Hormuz.
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:58 AM
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Our military must be scratching their heads. "Where the fuch did this ass hole come from?"
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:12 AM
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Welcome back, Carter....
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Old 03-22-2009, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Ro View Post
Brigitte Gabriel's take:
.
"In Islamic thinking and Middle Eastern thinking, you only go to the negotiating table to negotiate your own surrender."
"He (Obama) didn't come across as a man."
just so

weak sauce, Mr Obama
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:09 PM
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Iran has issues that Capt Zero failed to address.

Iran is following the N Korea model baised on their strategic interests.

Iran has nothing to lose and everything to gain for answering Zero's rhetoric with rhetoric.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:31 PM
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You guys are missing the point here.

The legitimacy of the mullahs in Iran is enhanced when they can portray the US as the enemy. That it's "us against them".

Bush played right into their hands in this. They loved Bush because he made them look tough at home.

So when Obama suggests appeasement, it is a threat to the mullahs and they must find some way of rejecting such overtures.

Diplomacy; bi-lateral contacts; trade relations; contacts at the NGO level etc etc is the best way to weaken the mullahs domestically.

The majority of Iranians are pro-western & pro-democracy & not fans of the mullahs. When we demonize Iran it helps the mullahs cling to power domestically.

Obamas overtures to this country are absolutely the smart way to go.
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Last edited by Dottore; 03-24-2009 at 06:26 AM.. Reason: clarity
Old 03-24-2009, 06:09 AM
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I agree with most of the below post.

It is imperative in my mind, however, that Obama find the right tone in dealing with the Persians as Brigitte Gabriel suggested. The mullahs do not have near the popular support many assume, they are feared.

Simply posturing as the anti-Bush will not be enough: having been to the middle east many times over the years, there is a deep and wide respect for Bush and his efforts in the region because he is perceived as a man of conviction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dottore View Post
You guys are missing the point here.

The legitimacy of the mullahs in Iran is enhanced when they can portray the US as the enemy. That it's "us against them".

Bush played right into their hands in this. They loved Bush because he made them look tough at home.

So when Obama suggests appeasement, it is a threat to the mullahs and they must find some way of rejecting such overtures.

Diplomacy; bi-lateral contacts; trade relations; contacts at the NGO level etc etc is the best way to weaken the mullahs domestically.

The majority of Iranians are pro-western & pro-democracy & not fans of the mullahs. When we demonize Iran it helps the mullahs cling to power domestically.

Obamas overtures to this country are absolutely the smart way to go.
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:06 AM
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I agree with most of the below post.

It is imperative in my mind, however, that Obama find the right tone in dealing with the Persians as Brigitte Gabriel suggested. The mullahs do not have near the popular support many assume, they are feared.

Simply posturing as the anti-Bush will not be enough: having been to the middle east many times over the years, there is a deep and wide respect for Bush and his efforts in the region because he is perceived as a man of conviction.
I agree it will be a diplomatic tightrope for Obama. I don't think he's just pushing the anti-Bush line, but if he was, in Iran that might be a good start.

The constant sabre-rattling by the Bush administration towards Iran allowed the mullahs much more leeway in suppressing the pro-western factions internally than would otherwise have been the case.

Bush did not help the pro-western cause in Iran one dot—and probably set it back many years.

Any US/Iran progress has to be in the form of a multilateral solution that involves the other powers in the region as well as the EU and Russia, and this will require some very deft handling. I'm not sure who Obama has handling this charge (apart from HC), but in order to succeed, this will require some very smart people doing a lot of leg work in the background.
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:29 AM
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Oh, and one more thing.

The stakes with Iran are incredibly high. Not just because of the importance of Iran per se, but because in Iran lies the key to lasting stability in Iraq. If Obama gets this right, it would be a very significant achievement.
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:35 AM
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