Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ahmadinejad called Israel racist President Obama still wants a relationship.

Ahmadinejad Calls Israel 'Racist' in U.N. Rant - WSJ.com

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Israel the "most cruel and repressive racist regime" at a racism conference in Geneva, giving a fresh reminder of the challenges the U.S. faces in its effort to improve relations with Tehran.

European diplomats walked out of the room after the comments Monday. The U.S. and a handful of European allies had already boycotted the United Nations event out of concern it would become a platform to criticise Israel, and the Iranian president's planned attendance added fuel to those concerns. Earlier in his term, Mr. Ahmadinejad questioned whether the Holocaust happened and said Israel should be wiped off the map.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Now this just blew a big hold in President Barack Obama's strategy with Iran. No this didn't.

State Department Deputy spokesman Robert Wood told a regular news briefing in Washington after Monday's speech that the U.S. still seeks to engage Iran in direct diplomacy. "We certainly hope to be able to engage Iran on a number of issues. There are a number of situations around the world where we need to engage Iran," he said.

I can't believe Robert Wood said this after Mr. Ahmadinejad, in his rambling speech Monday, castigated the U.S. and Europe for acting after World War II to make "an entire nation homeless under the pretext of Jewish suffering,"

France's Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said it was wrong for President Obama to shun the conference after announcing he was open for negotiations on Iran's nuclear program.

"It's paradoxical -- they don't want to listen to Iran in Geneva but they are ready to talk to them," Kouchner told French radio Europe 1. "More than a paradox, that could really be a mistake."

President Barack Obama reached out to the Iranian people in a new video with Farsi subtitles, saying the US is prepared to end years of strained relations if Tehran tones down its bellicose rhetoric. In his message, Obama had a warning for Tehran: "This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect."
This process will not be advanced by threats? Mr. Obama called the comments "appalling and objectionable."But, we will continue to pursue the -- the possibility of improved relations and a resolution to some of the critical issues in which there have been differences, particularly around the nuclear issue,"
So no matter what Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says President Obama wants a relationship with him. "Nothing's changed with respect to my belief that strong countries and strong presidents talk to their enemies and talk to their adversaries," Obama said in 2007. “Listening to the views, even of those who we violently disagree with, that sends a signal to the world that we are going to turn the page on the failed diplomacy that the Bush administration has practiced for so long."
Sorry Israel, no matter what Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says, President Barack Obama wants to be his friend.

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The President's Message to the Iranian People

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