Fars News Agency – May 1, 2009
Tehran's provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ahmad Khatami blasted US President Barack Obama's foreign policy, stressing that he is moving exactly on the same path that George Bush did.
"Obama is moving on Bush's path. He has all the options on the table which Bush had on Iran," Khatami said, addressing a large and fervent congregation of worshippers on Tehran University Campus on Friday.
In a clear response to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent comments on Iran, Ayatollah Khatami said, "The US's rookie and naïve secretary has spoken of harsh sanctions against Iran, but the world has heard your empty drum repeatedly. You are not after negotiation (with Iran) today…"
In her first congressional testimony on US foreign policy, Clinton warned that Iran should expect 'tight and crippling sanctions' if dialogue fails.
Stressing that the United States would continue the carrot-and-stick policy on Iran, Clinton said, "We know the imperative of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. After years during which the United States basically sat on the sidelines, we are now a full partner in international talks with Iran."
Ayatollah Khatami noted Obama's campaign motto of change, and said that a hundred days after the new US president took office, Washington is still following the same old policies on Iran and has not yet shown any change in its foreign policy.
On Palestine, he said, the US foreign policy on Palestine during Obama's presidency matches those of his predecessors.
"Obama always considers himself committed to supporting the terrorist Israel," he said, reiterating that Obama just chanted the motto of change to ascend to power as there has not been any practical shift in the US policies in the international arena.
The cleric further pointed out that the new US administration has not made any achievement inside the country either.
"Obama's administration has gained no success in harnessing the financial crisis in the US," Ayatollah Khatami noted.
The Obama White House sought to pretend that it has picked up the different road to Iran after President Obama in a Nowruz (the Persian New Year) message said he was after a "new beginning" with the Tehran government in a bid to repair strained ties of nearly three decades.
Tehran, meanwhile, said it would only consider the promise after seeing practical changes in US policies.
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, in a televised speech to mark the Iranian New Year, called for a real change in Washington's attitude towards Tehran, saying that the US has yet shown no practical change in its hostile policies on Iran.
Last updated 05/05/2009