The Iranian government gave a muted welcome to Barack Obama's surprise video appeal for better relations, but said the US must "realize its previous mistakes," drop sanctions, and end its support for Israel. An aide to president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran would "not show its back" if Washington made further overtures, but added: "So far what we have received have been unfriendly fists."
As the Guardian reports, Obama's three-minute video offering wishes for the Iranian new year did not directly mention Iran's nuclear program, its support for Hezbollah and Hamas, or any other sticking point between the nation. The Iranian president's office was more direct. It insisted that Obama end "unlimited sanctions which still continue" and said that "supporting Israel is not a friendly gesture."