Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears to be testing our new President:
The hardline leader also called on Washington to withdraw its troops from across the world as a proof of Mr Obama’s commitment to change.
“You were standing against the Iranian people in the past 60 years,” Mr Ahmadinejad said during an address in the western region of Khermenshah that was broadcast by state television.
“Those who speak of change must apologise to the Iranian people and try to repair their past bad acts and the crimes they committed against Iran.”
As to the troops, he said he expected two kinds of “deep and fundamental” change.
“Meet people, talk to them with respect and put an end to the expansionist policies. If you talk about change it must put an end to the US military presence in the world, withdraw your troops and take them back inside your borders.”
Mr Ahmadinejad said the advocates of change must “stop supporting the Zionists, outlaws and criminals”.
He called on the United States to “stop interfering in other people’s affairs”.
Perhaps Mahmoud senses weakness… Obama has promised to meet with him, a brutal tyrant, without preconditions. And Obama stated in his interview with al-Arabiya that he would “start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating,” and he called for a new partnership in the Muslim world “based on mutual respect and mutual interest.”
Whether he meant to or not, he implied an apology was in order when he stated that the U.S. had made mistakes in the past but “that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that.”
Meanwhile, Obama has quietly made missile defense concessions to Russia. How do we know? McKittrick, of Closing Velocity, an executive at the Missile Defense Agency, read about it in the paper:
Russia has dropped plans to install missiles near Poland after the Obama administration signalled a change in US attitude to the region, a Moscow military official has reportedly said.
The official suggested that Mr Obama’s White House had made clear it would not prioritise executing the Bush administration’s plan to install a missile defence shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Peace through strength concessions. Hey, it’s always worked, before, right?
I’m so glad the world loves us, now.
McKitterick informs me that he’s an exec with a co. that works for the MDA, not with the MDA itself.
Peace, love, and unicorns… Obama is staying true to his word:
Officials of Barack Obama‘s administration have drafted a letter to Iran from the president aimed at unfreezing US-Iranian relations and opening the way for face-to-face talks, the Guardian has learned.
The US state department has been working on drafts of the letter since Obama was elected on 4 November last year. It is in reply to a lengthy letter of congratulations sent by the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on 6 November.
Diplomats said Obama’s letter would be a symbolic gesture to mark a change in tone from the hostile one adopted by the Bush administration, which portrayed Iran as part of an “axis of evil”.
It would be intended to allay the suspicions of Iran’s leaders and pave the way for Obama to engage them directly, a break with past policy.