Reuters: A prominent member of Iran's parliament dismissed on Wednesday President Barack Obama's "new year" appeal for dialogue with the Islamic republic, a message that no official has yet responded to directly. TEHRAN (Reuters) – A prominent member of Iran's parliament dismissed on Wednesday President Barack Obama's "new year" appeal for dialogue with the Islamic republic, a message that no official has yet responded to directly.
Obama said in an address on Saturday that he still sought a historic dialogue with Iran, which Washington suspects is seeking nuclear weapons through its energy program.
"Those comments were nothing but a deception," Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the parliament's Foreign Policy and National Security Committee, said on comments on news agency ILNA.
"They (Americans) have sent several messages during the last year calling for talks with Iran, but at the same time passed more than 60 anti-Iranian bills in their Congress," he said.
"As long as there is no sense of balance between their comments and actions, offering talks could be only a trick … Obama has lost his prestige among the world's public opinion, therefore his new year message has no value."
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made no reference to the appeal in two new year speeches, but suggested Washington had proved that its talk of normalizing relations over the past year was a bluff since U.S. policies on Iran had not changed.
The U.S. administration hopes to win agreement for a new round of U.N. sanctions on Iran over its failure to reach an agreement with U.S. allies on uranium enrichment outside Iran. Tehran says it only seeks to generate electricity.
Iranian state-dominated media roundly ignored Obama's speech — aimed at government as well as ordinary Iranians — though many were able to access it through some Farsi- and English-language radio and Internet.
Iran has accused Western powers of fomenting the unrest since the victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in election's last June, which unleashed a protest movement that has formed Iran's biggest domestic challenge since the 1979 revolution.
(Reporting by Reza Derakhshi, writing by Andrew Hammond)