TEHRAN -- Iran welcomes U.S. President Obama's call for better relations, but also needs to see a change in Washington as well, an Iranian presidential spokesman said.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad's spokesman Ali-Akbar Javanfekr said Friday that Obama's call for change mentions nothing about addressing past U.S. policy toward Iran, the Voice of America reported.
"Mr. Obama has talked of change, but has taken no practical measures to redress America's past mistakes in Iran," Javanfekr said. "If Mr. Obama takes a concrete action and makes fundamental changes to U.S. foreign policy towards other nations, including Iran, the Iranian government and people will not turn their back on him."
Obama, in a videotaped message to the Iranian people to mark Nowruz, the traditional Iranian new year, said the United States seeks "engagement that is honest" with Iran.
"My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran and the international community," he said. "This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect."
European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, speaking at the organization's headquarters in Brussels, expressed optimism with Obama's overture towards Iran, VOA said.
"I'm very pleased after having heard the message," Solana said. "I think that it was a very constructive message."
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