TEHRAN, March 20 Following is the text of a
senior Iranian official's reaction to U.S. President Barack
Obama's videotaped appeal to Iran offering a "new beginning" of
diplomatic engagement between the two old foes.
Aliakbar Javanfekr, an aide to Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, speaking to Reuters:
"We welcome the interest of the American government to
settle differences. The American government should realise its
previous mistakes and make an effort to amend them in order to
put aside differences.
The Obama administration so far has just talked. By words
and talking the ... problems between Iran and America can not be
Nowruz (the Iranian New Year which falls on Friday) is a
sign of fundamental development in nature and Obama should learn
from this to make fundamental changes in his policy towards Iran.
Supporting Israel is not a friendly gesture and the new year
is an opportunity for the United States to change this policy.
By fundamentally changing its behaviour America can offer us
a friendly hand. So far what we have received have been
unfriendly fists. Unlimited sanctions which still continue and
have been renewed by the United States are wrong and need to be
The Iranian nation has shown that it can forget hasty
behaviour but we are awaiting practical steps by the United
(Reporting by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Richard Williams)