Iran urges for U.S. "concrete" action of change in response to Obama's message 2009-03-20 22:22:32   Print

    TEHRAN, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Iran on Friday urged Washington to take "concrete" action of change, while welcoming U.S. President Barack Obama's video message for a "new beginning" of engagement with the Islamic Republic.

    Ali Akbar Javanfekr, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's press advisor, made the call after Obama said in a video message on the occasion of the Iranian New Year Nowruz that Washington is pursuing "constructive ties" with Tehran.

    "Mr. Obama has talked of change, but has taken no practical measures to redress America' past mistakes in Iran," Javanfekr was quoted by local Press TV as saying, while welcoming Obama's wish to seek constructive ties despite differences.

    "If Mr. Obama takes concrete action and makes fundamental changes in U.S. foreign policy towards other nations, including Iran, the Iranian government and people won't turn their back on him," Javanfekr said.

    The differences between Iran and the United States stemmed from Washington's hostile policy towards Iran, said the Iranian official, stressing that "minor changes will not end the differences."

    Javanfekr stressed that the United States has a history of meddling in Iran's internal affairs, citing the examples of the CIA-led coup in 1955 against Iran's Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq and Washington's support of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

    "Our people will never forget the shooting down of an Iranian passenger airliner over the Persian Gulf by U.S. warship," he said, referring to the 1988 incident in which the USS Vincennes cruiser shot down the Iran Air Flight 655 after apparently mistaking it for an F-14 fighter, killing all 290 people on board.

    He also accused the United States of destabilizing the region by deploying troops to the Iraq and Afghanistan.

    "Iran enjoys good relations with the world community and its neighbors," he said. "But the U.S. military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan is the only source of instability in the region."

    In his video message on Friday, Obama said that "my administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties."

    Going further than previous statements, Obama said the United States would seek engagement instead of threats, and mutual respect, adding that it will not be advanced by "threats."

    While admitting "serious differences" that have grown over time between the two sides, Obama urged the two countries to resolve their long-standing differences.

    The United States severed its ties with Iran in 1980. Since then, Washington has been trying to beef up its sanctions against Tehran for allegedly developing secretly nuclear weapons and for being involved in anti-U.S. activities.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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