Iran Toughens Stance on Obama

Offer to talk merely signals shift from 'hard conflict to a soft attack,' commander says
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2008 10:34 AM CST
This is an images released Wednesday Nov. 12, 2008 taken at an undisclosed location in Iran, showing a missile test fire by Iranian armed forces.   (AP Photo/Fars News Agency, Vahid Reza Alaei)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Facing a US president-elect willing to negotiate, just as they’ve asked for, Iran’s leaders have adopted a more hostile tone toward Barack Obama, the Washington Post reports. “People who put on a mask of friendship, but with the objective of betrayal, and who enter from the angle of negotiations without preconditions, are more dangerous,” one military official said yesterday.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who sent Obama a welcoming letter, also seemed to hedge yesterday, saying, “It doesn’t make any difference for us who comes and who goes.” Opposition to the “great Satan” is a central tenet of Iranian politics, and Ahmadinejad advisers recently underlined the opinion that the US must withdraw from Iraq and meet other conditions for talks to begin.