Iran waiting for that change

November 5, 2008 12:00 am

, TEHRAN, November 5 – Prominent Iranian MP Hamid Reza Haji Babai on Wednesday welcomed the US presidential victory of Democrat Barack Obama as an "opportunity and test," with Iran now "waiting for that change."

"The election of Obama over (Republican candidate John) McCain is positive," Haji Babai told AFP.

"Obama has promised change and this is both an opportunity and test for the United States," he added. "We are waiting for that change.

"In the past eight years, (outgoing President George W.) Bush had created a bad atmosphere against the United States in the world with his militarism and this financial crisis," said Haji Babai.

"The election of McCain would have worsened this atmosphere."

Analyst Saeed Laylaz also welcomed the victory of the first US African-American in the presidential race, hoping for a new chapter in Tehran-Washington’s hostile history.

"If Obama delivers his promises (about opening dialogue with Iran), this will weaken radicals in Iran and no one will buy the radical and extremist slogans any more," Laylaz said referring to anti-US remarks of outspoken President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"This will affect Iran’s nuclear case because the red line is not the nuclear issue. It is rather security and opening dialogue that will bring security."

Tehran and Washington have had no diplomatic relations for nearly three decades since students took American diplomats hostage for 444 days following the 1979 Islamic revolution which toppled the US-backed shah.

Some Iranian dailies had already anticipated victory of Obama.

The moderate Sarmayeh’s front page read "First black chief of the White House" with a smiling picture of Obama and the reformist Etemad paper had a family picture of the president-elect headlined: "Obama ahead, McCain still hopeful."


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