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Thread: Iran's top leader rebukes Barack Obama's overture

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    Elite Member NicoleWasHere's Avatar
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    Default Iran's top leader rebukes Barack Obama's overture

    Iran's Top Leader Rebukes Obama's Overture

    DUBAI -- Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday dismissed President Barack Obama's New Year greeting to the country, delivering Iran's clearest rebuke so far to Washington's recent diplomatic overtures.

    In a speech to tens of thousands in the Iranian holy city of Masshad, Mr. Khamenei said that despite Mr. Obama's words, the U.S. hasn't shown any sign of "genuine" change in its "hostile" policies towards Iran, according to Iran's state-owned Press TV.

    The comments were the first by Iran's senior leadership to Mr. Obama's surprise, videotaped New Year's greeting delivered early Friday to Iranians. Mr. Khamenei's role as Iran's top cleric gives him final say in all matters of state.

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

    Iranian officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had previously welcomed Mr. Obama's offer of direct talks, but only tepidly and with conditions attached. Mr. Khamenei's speech Saturday was more defiant in tone.

    Amid Tehran's opaque and diffuse power circles, however, it was difficult to interpret whether the Iranian leadership was any less willing to embrace meaningful dialogue with Washington. Mr. Khamenei suggested the door was still open for talks, as long as American policy changes.

    In his videotaped message Friday to Iranians on the occasion of the start of the country's two-week, New Year holiday, Mr. Obama signaled in some of his strongest language yet Washington's desire to break from 30 years of acrimony and build better relations with Tehran.

    Iran's Top Leader Rebukes Obama's Overture - WSJ.com

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    At least the initial overture was given, clearly a change in previous tone.

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