During his first press conference as president-elect, Obama was asked about Iranian President Ahmadinejad's letter of congratulations addressed to him. In response to the query about the letter, Mr. Obama said Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons was "unacceptable" and he would "respond appropriately" to the Iranian leader's letter. On Nov 3, just a day before the elections, there was a report of bipartisan plans for aggressive action against Iran in the beltway debate in New York Times. Carl Giacomo wrote in the beltway opinion column that "it is a frightening notion, but it is not just the trigger-happy Bush administration discussing — if only theoretically — the possibility of military action to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program". Obama's mandate to negotiate with Iran in the face of the Israeli opposition is likely to be the tested soon. Given the past experience of other US presidents' inability to stand up to the growing power of the Israeli lobby in the US, I am not too sanguine that Obama will succeed. If Obama does succumb to the Jewish lobby's pressure, his entire agenda of fixing the ailing economy, defeating the Taleban and improving the US image in the world would be scuttled.
Here's the translated text of the Iranian President's congratulatory letter to President-elect Barack H. Obama:
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Mr. Barack Obama
President-elect of the United States of America
I congratulate you on having gained the majority of the votes of those who took part in the election. As you know, the chances that God gives to his subjects pass swiftly. They can be used for the perfection of humanity and to the benefit of nations or, God forbid, to the detriment of nations.
I hope you will choose to honor the real interests of people and justice and equity over the insatiable appetites of the selfish minority. Use this chance to serve to the extent you can. And leave a good name behind for yourself.
People expect an immediate and clear response to the pressure for fundamental change in the American government's policies, both foreign and domestic. This is the desire of all the world's nations and of the American nation as well, and it should be the objective and basis of all your future government's programs and actions.
On the one hand, the American nation, which has spiritual inclinations, expects your government to focus its energy and will on serving the people; dealing with the current economic crisis; restoring the country's standing, morale and hope; eradicating poverty and discrimination; and renewing respect for individuals, their safety and their rights. It also expects policies that will strengthen the foundations of the family -- part of the teachings of the holy prophets, who are also revered in America.
On the other hand, the nations of the world expect an end to policies based on warmongering, invasion, bullying, trickery, the humiliation of other countries by the imposition of biased and unfair requirements, and a diplomatic approach that has bred hatred for America's leaders and undermined respect for its people. They want to see actions based on justice, respect for the rights of human beings and nations, friendship and non-intervention in the affairs of others. They want the American government to keep its interventions within its own country's borders.
In the sensitive Middle East region, in particular, the expectation is that the unjust actions of the past 60 years will give way to a policy encouraging full rights for all nations, especially the oppressed nations of Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The great civilization-building and justice-seeking nation of Iran would welcome major, fair and real changes, in policies and actions, especially in this region.
If steps are taken in the path of righteousness, toward the goal of carrying out the teachings of the holy prophets, it is hoped that almighty God will help and that the enormous damage done in the past will be somewhat diminished.
I ask the high God to grant all of humanity and all nations health and happiness, honor and prosperity, and to grant rulers and officials the ability to learn from the past and to use every chance to serve, to spread love and kindness, to eradicate oppression, to do justice and to follow the holy guidelines.
Here's the video clip of President-elect Obama's first press conference:
I got the impression Obama wanted to read the original letter himself before he responded.I saw somewhere the Bush people were trying to establish a low level diplomatic office in Tehran.Talking is better than bombing and I mean that for all sides.
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