Rafsanjani urges Clinton not to use Bush’s antagonistic tone

April 25, 2009

TEHRAN -- Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has urged U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to refrain from using the antagonistic language that was the trademark of the George W. Bush administration.

“Clinton should refrain from repeating such words so that the atmosphere that has been created in Iran is not destroyed,” he told worshipers in a sermon at Friday prayers in Tehran.
During an address to the U.S. Congress earlier this week, Clinton said, “We are more than willing to reach out to the Iranians to discuss a range of issues.” However, if diplomacy fails, “We are also laying the groundwork for the kind of very tough sanctions, I think you said crippling sanctions, that might be necessary in the event that our offers are either rejected or the process is inconclusive or unsuccessful.”
Rafsanjani stated, “These are not the words of a journalist or an analyst. Rather, the head of the United States’ foreign policy (apparatus) has uttered them,” and if this is the policy of the Obama administration, where is the change in U.S. foreign policy?
Commenting on Barack Obama’s message to Iranians on the eve of the Iranian New Year, he observed, “Although that message had some negative points, its wording was fairly acceptable. However, Mrs. Clinton has made an odd statement which is similar to Bush’s language.”
The EC chairman also pointed out that Iran has always welcomed negotiation and dialogue but will not accept any preconditions for talks.
However, at a time when U.S. officials claim they are ready for negotiations, such remarks are dubious, he added