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  America
Iran Lashes Out at Barack Obama
Iran's criticism followed Obama's remarks in Chicago on Friday that it was "unacceptable" for Tehran to develop nuclear weapons and that he would mount an international effort to prevent it

US President-elect Barack Obama triggered an angry backlash from Iran over its nuclear programme on Nov. 8 even as Poland claimed he had assured Warsaw of US plans to go ahead with a missile defence shield in eastern Europe despite threats from Russia.

Iran's criticism followed Obama's remarks in Chicago on Friday that it was "unacceptable" for Tehran to develop nuclear weapons and that he would mount an international effort to prevent it.

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said Obama was going in the wrong direction with such comments. "Obama can understand that strategic changes in [American] policy are required, not just cosmetic changes," Larijani told state television.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad congratulated Obama on his win on Thursday - the first time an Iranian leader has offered such wishes to a US president-elect since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

"If Americans want to change their situation in the region, they need to send good signals," Larijani said.

Meanwhile, Iran's state radio said that Obama's call on Friday for international pressure to prevent the country from developing nuclear arms was a mere replay of Bush's hard-line stance towards Tehran.

The radio commentary said it was still too early to judge what Obama will do, but warned that the new president "will betray the vote of the American people if he fails to bring back rationalism to the White House".

In Warsaw, a statement issued by the Polish President said: "Barack Obama has underlined the importance of the strategic partnership between Poland and the United States, he expressed his hope of continuing the political and military cooperation between our two countries. He also said the anti-missile shield project would go ahead."

The comments came after the two men spoke by telephone. However, an aide to Obama said he has spoken to the president of Poland about relations between the two countries but didn't make a commitment on the multibillion-dollar missile defence programme undertaken by the Bush administration.

Warsaw and Washington signed a deal on August 14 to base part of a US missile shield in Poland, amid Moscow's vehement opposition and mounting East-West tensions over Georgia. (Agencies)




 

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