Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised President Obama on Thursday for his even-keeled avoidance of war, CNN reported.
“Two days ago, we heard the president of America say: ‘We are not thinking of war with Iran,'" Khamenei said on state-run television on Thursday. "This is good. Very good. These are wise words. This is an exit from illusion.”
This week in Washington, Obama has been toning down his war rhetoric after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's forceful assertions that Israel must protect itself from Iran's nuclear arms, the International Business Times reported.
"At a time when there is not a lot of sympathy for Iran, and its only real ally (Syria) is on the ropes, do we want a distraction in which suddenly Iran can portray itself as a victim?" President Obama said in an interview with Atlantic magazine earlier this month.
Khamenei's nod of approval for Obama's diplomacy is one of the rare cases in which Iran’s top leader has ever praised an American president, according to the Daily Telegraph.
However, Khamenei critiqued Obama for “still harboring illusions” that economic sanctions will pressure Iran to halt its nuclear activities, the IBT reported.
“[Obama spoke of] ‘bringing the Iranian people to their knees through sanctions.’ This part of his comments shows that the illusion continues," Khamenei said on the broadcast, IBT reported.
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The US and its allies suspect that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, charges which Iran denies. President Obama said on Tuesday that open communication and diplomatic exchanges could resolve the nuclear crisis, accusing his Republican critics of “beating the drums of war," The Daily Telegraph reported.
It is "deeply in everybody's interests — the United States, Israel and the world's — to see if this can be resolved in a peaceful fashion," President Obama said of Iran's nuclear threat, CNN reported.
The European Union has accepted an offer from Iran’s top nuclear negotiator to re-open discussions concerning Iran’s atomic program, IBT reported.
Washington and Tehran have not diplomatic relations since the takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran during which American diplomats were taken hostage by Iranians in 1979, the Washington Post reported.
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