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Iran To Obama: We’re Just Not That Into You

by @ 5:19 pm on November 3, 2009. Filed under Barack Obama, Foreign Affairs, Iran, Politics

It would appear that President Obama’s idea of a dialogue with Iran is not well-received:

TEHRAN — Iran’s supreme leader, spurning what he described as several personal overtures from President Obama, warned Tuesday that negotiating with United States was “naive and perverted” and said Iranian politicians should not be “deceived” into starting such talks.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Obama has approached him several times through oral and written messages. It was the second time that Khamenei, 70, who wields ultimate political and religious authority in Iran, has referred to Obama’s outreach, in which the U.S. president reportedly has requested talks between the two estranged nations.

Khamenei previously has mentioned receiving two letters from Obama. The White House has not confirmed sending letters to the supreme leader but has acknowledged a willingness to talk to Iran and said it has sought to communicate with Iranian leaders in a variety of ways.

In his harshest comments against the Obama administration to date, Khamenei said Tuesday that the United States has ill intentions toward Iran and is not to be trusted. The remarks came amid wrangling between Iranian officials and representatives of the United States, Russia and France over a U.N.-backed proposal aimed at resolving a protracted dispute over Iran’s nuclear program. Under the deal, Iran would ship much of its low-enriched uranium abroad for processing into fuel for a research reactor in Tehran that produces medical isotopes. The United States and its allies see the arrangement as a way to reduce a uranium stockpile that could otherwise be used to produce fissile material for a nuclear weapon, while meeting Iran’s professed need for medium-enriched nuclear fuel for the research reactor.

On Monday, Iran said it wanted further negotiations and more guarantees that its low-enriched uranium would be returned. During talks on the offer in Geneva on Oct. 1, Iranian officials had a rare meeting with U.S. Undersecretary of State William J. Burns and tentatively agreed to the arrangement.

“The new U.S. president has said nice things,” Khamenei said in a speech Tuesday. “He has given us many spoken and written messages and said, ‘Let’s turn the page and create a new situation. Let’s cooperate with each other in resolving world problems.’ ”

Khamenei made the remarks to an audience during a commemoration of the Nov. 4, 1979, takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, which will be celebrated widely in Iran on Wednesday. The embassy takeover by Iranian militants received the blessing of Khamenei’s predecessor as supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and resulted in the rupture of diplomatic relations between the United States and Iran. After 444 days in captivity, 52 American hostages were released, but relations have not been restored.

Iran’s highest leader said he responded in March to Obama’s overtures, saying in a speech that he would wait for changes in American policy toward Iran.

Since then, Khamenei said, “what we have witnessed is completely the opposite of what they have been saying and claiming. On the face of things they say: ‘Let’s negotiate.’ But alongside this they threaten us and say that if these negotiations do not reach a desirable result, they will do this and that.”

So, let’s just stop pretending that diplomacy is going to be magical cure for the “Iran problem,” okay ?

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