President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad welcomed Barack Obama’s initial offer to engage in dialogue with his nation, but insisted there had to be some action on the part of the USA rather than only words. He demanded apology for past “crimes” committed by America against Iran. There is most probably a conflict within the Iranian government between those who seek to explore the possibility of an opening with the United States and hard-liners who are not interested in better relations with Western nations. Ahmadinejad told a crowd the US had to begin withdrawing troops from the region, and “they should apologize to the Iranian nation and try to make up for their dark background and the crimes they have committed against the Iranian nation.” He most probably is referring to the CIA overthrow of the Mossadegh government in the 1950s and the close ties with the government of the Shah.
Many ordinary citizens in Iran know they never will get a president like Obama who is ready to engage in talks with leaders of their nation. It would help if President Obama admitted the CIA interfered with the internal affairs of a nation and he could apologize for the incident– everyone connected to it is dead. Apologize, be honest, and let’s get on with the task of peace in the Middle East and Asia.