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Iran questions Obama’s change

4 August 2010 15:51

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has criticized his American counterpart Barack Obama for failing to realize his campaign trail promise of “change.”

“They (the Americans) announced that they had pulled out part of their forces from Iraq in recent days and claimed that their move was in line with their slogan of ‘change,'” Fars News Agency quoted President Ahmadinejad as saying on Wednesday.

“You said you would withdraw all your troops from Iraq, why is it that some of them are still in this country? Secondly, where are you relocating your forces from Iraq?”

“The Americans want to relocate their soldiers to Afghanistan. What kind of a change in their military policy is this?” the president asked during a speech in the western Hamadan Province.

Ahmadinejad went on to say, “Real change means that you take your forces… and leave our region.”

The president also referred to the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program, urging the US leader “not to miss another chance” over Tehran’s nuclear fuel swap proposal.

“Obama missed last year’s chance for fuel swap, but this opportunity is once again on the table today. We have informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that we are ready for fuel swap and for negotiations from mid-Ramadan (September).”

The president dismissed a recent host of unilateral sanctions imposed against Iran by the US, the European Union, Canada, and Australia, as “ineffective.”

Western powers, led by the US and Israel, accuse Iran of following a covert military nuclear program.

Tehran denies the charges, arguing that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) it has the right to civilian nuclear technology.

Earlier reports on Wednesday said that the president’s motorcade had come under a grenade attack during the trip to Hamadan. The President’s office, however, rejected the reports.

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