March 21st, 2009
12:48 PM ET
14 years ago

Iranian leader: Obama's rhetoric not enough

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran would change its policy when the U.S. did so as well."]

TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Saturday he sees no change in U.S. policy toward Iran despite the U.S. promise of a "new beginning."

Khamenei said a change in rhetoric is not enough, and Washington must practice what it preaches, according to the English-language Press TV channel in Iran.

He also promised that Iran will change its policy if the United States does so as well, Press TV reported.

Khamenei's comments, which he made in a televised address to mark the start of the Iranian New Year on Friday, come a day after U.S. President Barack Obama reached out to Iran in a videotaped message.

A spokesman for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad condemned U.S. foreign policy Friday in response to the video.

Obama's message spoke of "new beginnings" with the promise of a new year.

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Filed under: Iran • President Obama
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Matt, Canoga Park

    So where is Iran's Olive Branch? Peace and friendship is a two way street. If we make an effort they too should make an effort. Since they dismiss and ignore the attempts to reach a common ground shows that the Iranian people are still stagnant and unable to change or move forward. Iran has a agenda and friendship has no part in it. They are not worth the effort.

    March 21, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. bruja

    Why should anyone influence the people of Iran? We should accept them. Thats different. I think Obama can!

    March 21, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. Rob from Pa

    Yeah, Iran will change their policy. They will now let us get as close as possible, then they will cut off the infidels head. Don't you people listen to what these people preach ? There is no peace unless you are a believer.

    March 21, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Ray Fisher

    The Iranians simply do not wish to play well with others!!! They have always insisted everything be done their way with no exceptions which make them world outcasts. We simply must stop buying oil so they'll dry up and blow!!!

    March 21, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. A Kickin' Donkey

    The Iranian government won't get anywhere unless they are prepared to let go of their hatred of all things American.

    Talking to President Obama is though he has to make some 1st concession to Iran is an insult to our leader and will doom the outcome to failure.

    The Ayatollah should not think he can PUNK the "skinny guy from Chicago with a funny name". President Obama won't be played like that. This is one Democrat this isn't soft.

    Stop the gamesmanship Iran ... We're watching for it.

    March 21, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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