Iran General NewsIran official on Iraq visit downplays US overture

Iran official on Iraq visit downplays US overture

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ImageAP: Iran's influential parliament speaker on a visit to Iraq is downplaying U.S. President Barack Obama's recent videotaped overture to Iran.

The Associated Press

ImageNAJAF, Iraq (AP) — Iran's influential parliament speaker on a visit to Iraq is downplaying U.S. President Barack Obama's recent videotaped overture to Iran.

Ali Larijani told reporters Wednesday in Najaf that Iran's problems with the U.S. are not due to a "sentimental issue" that can be removed with "a blessing and congratulations."

Instead, Larijani says the differences stem from 30 years of hostility, including Saddam Hussein's 1980 invasion of Iran which he said was "instigated by America."

In a videotape message this month, Obama said the U.S. wants to engage Iran.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rebuffed the overture, saying Tehran was still waiting to see concrete changes in U.S. policy.

Larijani is on a private visit to Iraq.

 

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