Iran to Obama: Let's Talk

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2009 8:37 AM CDT
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, smiles and waves as he sits in his car, in Isfahan 400kms (240 miles) south of Tehran on Wednesday. 8, 2009.   (AP photo/ISNA news agency/Amir Pourmandi)
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(Newser) – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today that he’d welcome talks with the US, if Barack Obama’s overtures are sincere, the AP reports. “The Iranian nation welcomes a hand extended to it should it really and truly be based on honesty, justice and respect,” the Iranian president said in a radio address today, referencing Obama’s offer to “extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

But Ahmandinejad warned that “if, God forbid, the extended hand has an honest appearance but contains no honesty in content, it will meet the same response the Iranian nation gave to Mr. Bush.” Last month, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, rebuffed Obama's video message on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian new year, in which the president reached out to the Iranian people. Khamenei said Tehran was still waiting to see concrete changes in US policy.