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President: Iran to shake hand with Obama if honest
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16:32, April 09, 2009

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Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the Iranian nation would shake the hand extended by new U.S. administration if its overture were honest, local Press TV reported on Thursday.

"The Iranian nation will shake an honest hand which is extended towards it but if the hand only appears to be honest and is in fact deceptive in nature it will receive a response just like the one the Iranian nation gave to (former U.S. President George W. Bush)," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying in central city of Isfahan on Wednesday.

His comments came as a response to U.S. President Barack Obama's recent message to the Iranian nation and government on the occasion of Iranian New Year in which he announced willingness to pursue "constructive ties" with Iran.

The Obama administration said Wednesday that it will take part in the proposed talks with Iran with other five powers, in an attempt to find a political solution to Iran's nuclear program.

Obama's remarks were viewed as a shift of U.S. Iran policy. The Bush administration had refused to take part in talks involving Iran on its nuclear issue, saying that Tehran had to first stop uranium enrichment.

Iran expected a policy change in practice, not mere talks from the White House, Ahmadinejad added.

Ahmadinejad is set to announce the testing of a new generation of centrifuges at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility and the inauguration of a fuel manufacturing plant in Isfahan Province to mark national nuclear day on Thursday.


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