President Ahmadinejad — who’s recently been described as “the Unidentified Flying Object of Iranian and global politics” whose “antics have made Iran a laughingstock on the world stage” — said today that Iran is ready for talks with Barack Obama.
And he didn’t sound too weird, either.
“The Iranian nation is ready for talks (with the U.S.) but in a fair atmosphere with mutual respect … If you really want to fight terrorism, come and cooperate with the Iranian nation, which is the biggest victim of terrorism so that terrorism is eliminated. … If you want to confront nuclear weapons … you need to stand beside Iran so it can introduce a correct path to you. …
“The world is entering an era of dialogue and intellect. The new U.S. government has announced that it wants to bring changes and follow the path of dialogue. It is very clear that changes have to be fundamental and not tactical. It is clear that the Iranian nation welcomes true changes.”
Big stuff from the UFO, who added that the world “does not want to see the dark age of Bush repeated.”
Meanwhile, Iran’s parliament speaker (and hardliner) Ali Larijani said the same thing, pretty much, in Madrid:
“If they believe in some plan, they should present it through diplomatic means. Diplomacy was created for that. If Iran feels that there really exists a firm decision to solve the problems of the region, if it feels the change in the United States is a strategic change and not tactical, and that talks with Iran would help national interests and those of the region, Iran could examine it. … Talking about negotiations should not be a juggling game in the media.”
This, mind you, is not coming from former President Khatami, who decided this week to challenge Ahmadinejad for the presidency in elections this summer. This is coming from the hardliners, unquestionably with the support of Ali Khamenei, the turban-wearing Supreme Leader.
Seems like a direct response to what President Obama said last night about Iran: