United States Institute of Peace

The Iran Primer

Iran Reacts to Obama Win

            After President Obama’s reelection, Iranian officials indicated that they are open to renewed negotiations. “If it benefits us, we can hold talks with America even at the bottom of hell,” said Human Rights Council Secretary Mohammad Javad Larijani. His conservative brother, Judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, cautioned that relations will not improve overnight but also said the United States would be “wise” to win Iran’s trust. The following are reactions by key Iranian officials to Obama’s win.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
            “Just take a look at the situation in Europe and the United States… An election, which is one of the manifestations of the people’s will, has become a battleground for the capitalists and an excuse for hasty spending.” November 8
 
Human Rights Council Secretary Mohammad Javad Larijani
            “Talks with the United States are not taboo, nor forbidden…If it benefits us, we can hold talks with America even at the bottom of hell…Negotiating with the United States due to pressure is not acceptable to us…Negotiations with the United States should be contemplated while keeping the country's interests in mind; in that case we will negotiate with anyone under the supervision of the Supreme Leader.” November 7
 
Judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
            “Four years ago, Obama was elected on a platform for change and said he was extending his hand for cooperation with Iran, but he acted otherwise and unprecedented sanctions were imposed…”
            “After all this pressure and crimes against the people of Iran, an overnight resumption of relations is not possible and Americans should not think they can hold our nation to ransom by coming to the negotiating table…The United States will start to be wise only when it manages to win the Iranian nation’s trust.” November 7
 
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast
            “Any evaluation of the promise of change will be based on the actual policy and performance of U.S. officials…The truth is that people in the Muslim world and Middle East are still waiting for the realization of U.S. president’s promises…The wall of mistrust can only be reduced if the government respects the will and the rights of the Iranian people and changes its past mistaken policies.” November 7
 

 


 

 

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