November 8th, 2008
07:24 AM ET
10 years ago

Iran blasts Obama's nuclear criticism

Ahmadinejad on Thursday outlined where he thinks U.S. policy needs to change.

Ahmadinejad on Thursday outlined where he thinks U.S. policy needs to change.

TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) - Iran's parliament speaker has criticized U.S. President-elect Barack Obama for saying that Iran's development of a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.

Ali Larijani said on Saturday Obama should apply his campaign message of change to U.S. dealings with Iran.

"Obama must know that the change that he talks about is not simply a superficial changing of colors or tactics," Larijani said in comments carried by the semi-official Mehr News Agency.

"What is expected is a change in strategy, not the repetition of objections to Iran's nuclear program which will be taking a step in the wrong direction."

In his first post-election news conference Friday afternoon, Obama reiterated that he believes a nuclear-armed Iran would be "unacceptable." He also said he would help mount an international effort to prevent it from happening.

Larijani said U.S. behavior toward Iran "will not change so simply," but that Obama's election showed internal conditions in the United States have shifted.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iran
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Even Rev Wright Is a Patriotic American

    Good –

    These Iranian comments will only serve to make President elect Obama more popular here at home and abroad.

    If Iranians believe in the promise that Obama brings ... for a more universal view of the world ... they will stand down on their nuclear ambitions.

    Their shtick used to be about those "blue-eyed devils" and their holier-than-thou imperalist ambitions. Those same slights against America don't work as well worldwide, or even in the slums of Teheran, against US President elect Barack Hussien Obama. The world has newfound confidence that the American way is the right way. That anybody can make it here.

    Iran you are not America's military or economic equivalent ... so don't pick the fight. Your hope against us was a moral, ethical, fairness war. Obama is moral, ethical, just & fair but he is not a soft Democratic wimp.

    Don't push this brother ... he won't go for it.

    November 8, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. lieNoMore

    The Iranian leadership is right in ONE way, we(U.S.A) are no longer willing to tolerate religious fanatics here or abroad –so they should get with program and try to become a cooperative player. Sticking to the religious nazi state system they currently subscribe to and developing Nuke weapons to boot to will only bring THEM grief and international disdain.

    November 8, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. Maggie in SC

    Althought I am a strong Reppublican I certainly agree with Obama in his idea to prevent Iran from developing nucler arms. He is getting off to a good start by protecting our country, America and it's peoples.

    November 8, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. tiff of Lithia Springs

    What did they think? We're just going to let them loose and build up nukes while downing Isreal. They need to look internally as does Cuba for change that what the US has done.

    November 8, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. FreeNLovIt

    That whole Middle East area, including Iran, should not possess NUKES. First and foremost, the regions are too unstable. It's like giving a kid a GUN. Based on how he feels for the day, he may or may not shoot you.

    November 8, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. FreeNLovIt

    Iran, we love you. Ask for anything, but dont ask for that POISON.

    November 8, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. FreeNLovIt

    It's a poison that should be limited. If not applied through careful judgement, we will all breathe ACID. Die from DNA degenerations. So no, because we love you and we love ourselves. You cannot have NUKES. So STOP asking for it!!

    November 8, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. John

    Ooops, there is somebody who doesn't love Obama...better cover that up liberal media!

    November 8, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. Dawn

    Why he had said that is because their missile would be aimed toward the Israeli Goverment. or the Iraqi Government. That is common sense. He needs to sit down and with caution to talk to radical leaders.

    Lets finally live in some peace....

    November 8, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. Simmy


    November 8, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. spread the wealth

    it is unacceptable,an iran should know change also applies to them as well.why do you need weapons if you seek peace??

    November 8, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  12. Concerned Voter

    I love you, CNN...but I don't like what seems to be CNN giving the Irananian government a platform for their propaganda to the world. The American people are in a very tough transition right now. The last thing we need is to be infused with Iranian propaganda, when they have been identified as a threat to American security. Report about what's going on, but don't give their propaganda a wide-open platform to speak against our President. I respect your job as journalists, but we are AMERICANS first! I ask that you please post my is only fair that someone be allowed to speak out against the Iranian agenda.

    November 8, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. Anonymous

    He should have stated that he is not in the office till January 20 and will leave at accepting the congratulations for his election. He, in effect, supported the current president's policy while there is no need for it – there can be only one president at a time. This would leave a door open for any choices he makes as he enters the president's office.

    November 8, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. Nima Rahimi


    The very first sentence of this article is such a misrepresentation that your credentials as a journalist should be revoked. Your sentence implicates Iran's parliamentary speaker's criticism of President Obama's statement as an admittance by the Islamic Republic of developing a nuclear weapon.

    I'll leave it to you and your readers to imagine the consequences of such an admittance.

    I do believe Iran is developing a nuclear weapon, I also believe it is in our best interests to prevent that from happening.

    My issue is with your careless journalism. Please rectify the article.

    PS Why don't you put Ali Larijani's picture instead of Ahmadinejad's? This article has everything to do with Larijani's statements...

    November 8, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. kennyboon

    If US can have nuclear weapons then the rest of the world could have the same thing too. To liberalize the world, all man, countries should have the same right. however no one should misuse these weapons.

    I think Iran has to understand that Obama would still work for the reasons for this nation first then for the rest of the world.

    November 8, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. Tim

    What happened to no preconditions?

    Change you can believe in.

    November 8, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. Dan

    So he's going to continue the same tactic/policy of trying to prevent Iran from pursuing nuclear energy/technology, even though it's in their legal right to do so?

    What a change.

    So Bush handles this by just refusing to let them do it, but Obama might talk to them and personally tell them they can't do it? hahaha, if this is how things are going to be for the next 4 years then it doesn't sound like we're going to be getting a big difference.

    November 8, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. AC, Atlanta

    I thought Ahmadinijad congratulated Obama on his victory? A sentiment that has not come out of that country since the days of the Shah. I was taken aback by this gesture. Obama cannot afford to be charmed by this man or any of his officials. Ahmadinijad hates our system of democracy and everything about it that we cherish, and often take for granted.
    He predicts the approaching demise of the American empire (and Israel) as if it were his highest hope.

    We don't need to demonize; rather, we need to approach Iran with dignified statesmanship, and caution.

    November 8, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  19. Chris (SC)

    What did Iran think was going to happen?

    We were all of a sudden going to let Iran do whatever they wanted? You said you want to wipe a country(Israel) off the face of the earth and you think we are going to be buddy buddy with you?

    Just because Obama isn't George W. Bush doesn't mean you are going to get to do whatever you want. Iran is not only a threat to Israel but to the world and should be treated very carefully. Which is exactly what Obama is going to do, treat them carefully and thoughtfully, no knee jerk reactions.

    November 8, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  20. it's time

    obama is right, nuclear weapons in the hands of iran are unacceptable.

    November 8, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. sirous

    It is big shame for America that whoever the president is, he should prove himself ASAP to the Israelis. Selecting Emanuel as the chief of staff, Obama began to show how much he is devoted to the Israeli principles and now he starts the old game of traditional bad guy. To have an enemy, Iran is the easiest choice. To me as an Obama supporter, falling in the oldfashion politics does not sound CHANGE! I hoped new administration at least checks the facts first and then jump into the Bush legacy. It is simple and also dissappointing that Obama started to demonize Ahmadinejad just to have an enemy and an excuse to sell missiles to the Middle Eastern American allies. Does it really mean that change we did believe?!!!

    November 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. Meka




    November 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. TJ

    Agree with the Iranian foreign minister 100%.

    Obama's rhetoric of change must be in conjunction with a willingness to at least try things that were different by the neo-con hijacked Bush administration.

    I despise how the pro-Israeli lobby has a stranglehold on US politicians that they pander to AIPAC's every whims lest they "lose out" on Jewish votes in Florida.

    Is it then any wonder Obama's first action after becoming the Democratic party nominee, who ran to the left of Hillary on Iran and other foreign policy initiatives, was to rush off to AIPAC to swore allegiance to the "Safety and sacrosant security" of Israel?

    November 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. unknown

    I think Iran has the right to have nuclear program like all other countries around the world. I voted for obama because I believed he is going to bring changes but obviously he is going to do the same thing, it was all talk to be elected. it is sad, I regret the vote.

    November 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  25. julio

    Iran was hoping to be left alone now that Barack Obama was elected. President Elect Obama has made it clear that Iran's nuclear program is unacceptable and now the Iranian govt is crying. Boo hoo hoo! Obama and the world community must come down on Iran and make them understand they must seize their program, period end of story.

    November 8, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
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