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
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
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
"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
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