Skeptical Iran Shrugs Off Obama’s Holiday Call for ‘Dialogue’

Between Calls for Crippling Sanctions and Threats of Attack, Iran Doubts President's Sincerity

President Obama’s New Year’s greeting video to the Iranian people has reiterated calls for new dialogue, but unsurprisingly it has been greeted with considerable skepticism from Iranian officials.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei rejected the remarks, saying that while President Obama claims a willingness to nomalize relations, “in practice they did the opposite.” He closed by declaring “sometimes the US government appears as a wolf or a fox and looks violent and arrogant, and sometimes they look different.”

President Obama’s calls for dialogue come as he publicly embraces the Green Revolution opposition (despite calls from the Green Revolution to leave them alone because US support is only undermining them), and as his administration presses for crippling sanctions on Iran.

In fact it has only been about a month since White House press secretary Robert Gibbs most recently declared that the US would not rule out attacking Iran. The repeated threats from the US, and from key US ally Israel, have needless to say put Iran on edge.

The two sides actually did take part in a brief P5+1 dialogue late last year, ending in a draft agreement on a third party enrichment deal. When the Iranians called for additional talks to iron out disagreements, however, they were rebuffed. The renewed call for dialogue didn’t mention any specifics, but it seems, as so many previous ones, that it was an offer made specifically to be rejected.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of