Ayatollah Praises Obama Peace Remarks
But he's not happy about threat of more Iran sanctions
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2012 11:34 PM CST
Updated Mar 9, 2012 2:10 AM CST
Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, delivers a speech in a public gathering in Tehran, Iran.    (AP Photo/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader, File)

(Newser) – Iran's supreme religious leader had some rare words of praise for the US yesterday. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he welcomed President Obama's efforts to cool down "casual" talk of war with Iran, reports the Christian Science Monitor. "This talk is good talk, and shows an exit from illusion,” Khamenei told an assembly of clerics. "But the US president continued saying that he wants to make the Iranian people kneel through sanctions. This part of this speech shows the continuation of illusion."

Obama told reporters earlier this week that while the US will not accept Iranian development of nuclear weapons, it is "deeply in everybody's interests—the United States, Israel and the world's—to see if this can be resolved in a peaceful fashion." Khamenei rarely comments directly on statements from the US. His praise for Obama appears to be "a sign that he fears the possibility of an attack, otherwise, it is out of character," notes an analyst at Iran News Now.