Thu, January 22, 2009
World > Middle East > Barack Obama's inauguration as 44th US president

FM: Iran asks Obama to realize emerging "new Middle East"

2009-01-21 14:31:58 GMT2009-01-21 22:31:58 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

TEHRAN, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki asked the new U.S. President Barak Obama to realize the emerging "new Middle East," the official IRNA news agency reported on Wednesday.

Mottaki recommended Obama to try to understand the "new Middle East which was emerging" on Tuesday night shortly after Obama sworn in as the U.S. new president.

"The traditional ways of looking into Middle East issues would no longer work... and the U.S. administration really needed to hire a new team of Middle East experts that would help the American president make logical decisions on topics relating to the Middle East," he said.

In December, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Pacific Affairs Mohammad-Mehdi Akhoundzadeh said in Tokyo that his country was consisting on the Middle East free from nuclear weapons and "has consistently kept opposing to development of any weapons of mass destruction worldwide."

On the relations between Iran and the United States, Mottaki commented that "Iran would prefer to follow its long-standing policy of monitoring the performance and the practical policies of the U.S. administration," IRNA said.

The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Iran on April 7, 1980 after a group of Iranian students seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran and captured some 60 U.S. diplomats in 1979, with 52 of them being in captivity for 444 days in the hostage crisis.

The United States and its allies also accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program.

Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

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