Ahmadinejad says Obama should be ”honest”
Iran's president said Wednesday that his country welcomes talks with the United States should the new American president prove to be "honest" in extending its hand toward Iran. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's words come after Barack Obama said his administration is looking for opportunities to engage Iran and pledged to rethink Washington's relationship with Tehran. At his inauguration in January, Obama said his administration would reach out to rival states, saying "we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."
Last month, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, rejected Barack Obama's video message on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian new year, in which the American leader reached out to the Iranian people. Khamenei said Tehran was still waiting to see concrete changes in U.S. policy.
But Ahmadinejad offered a more conciliatory tone Wednesday. "The Iranian nation welcomes a hand extended to it should it really and truly be based on honesty, justice and respect," Ahmadinejad said, according to the AP.
Ahmadinejad, however, said Obama will meet the fate of former President George W. Bush if he is proved not to be honest. "But if, God forbid, the extended hand has an honest appearance but contains no honesty in content, it will meet the same response the Iranian nation gave to Mr. Bush," Ahmadinejad said.