TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s supreme leader said Friday that world powers had been persuaded they could not block Iran’s nuclear progress — making no mention of a new-year’s message sent by President Obama to his country, Reuters reported.
Neither Ayatollah Ali Khamenei nor Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad noted Obama’s attempt to make a “new beginning” with their country in recorded messages they issued to mark the Iranian New Year.
Obama released the video Friday to coincide with the Iranian festival of Nowruz, which marks the arrival of spring. In the video, Obama says the U.S. is prepared to end the strained relations if Tehran tones down its combative rhetoric.
“This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect,” Obama said.
A press adviser to Iran’s president downplayed the video, saying “minor changes will not end the differences.”
Ali Akbar Javanfekr told the Iranian state-run English-language Press TV satellite station that Iran will never forget U.S. meddling in Tehran’s affairs. The two countries broke off relations after the 1979 Islamic revolution.