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Page last updated at 12:41 GMT, Friday, 20 March 2009

Iran views: Obama message

BBC website readers in Iran give their reaction to President Obama's video appeal, offering to end 30 years of distrust between Washington and Tehran.

CYRUS, in Tehran

Iranian women in Tehran

Obama's message is very, very positive. The tone and the content is completely different to that of the previous administration. There have been so many missed opportunities in last decade and a half.

I think the Iranian government should respond immediately and not miss this opportunity to open a balanced dialogue with the US.

President Ahmadinejad has the support of the leadership and he has more authority than other recent presidents, so ironically, I think he could be the one to make progress.

All it needs now is for action to follow these words.

One gesture the US administration could make would be to ease some of the sanctions on passenger aeroplanes and spare parts. Iran is banned from buying planes from Boeing and Airbus, so it cannot update its fleets.

I fly a lot with my work, both within Iran and abroad. It's ordinary business commuters and passengers like me who suffer from the poor quality aircraft. Government ministers have their own helicopters.

This is one area where no-one can really understand what the sanctions are for.


AKBAR, in Tehran

I don't think dialogue with the US is a good idea because we've got too many of our own problems to sort out.

We're having presidential elections in June and a possible change of personalities at the top.

And what is the new administration actually offering, that George Bush didn't? Americans are a liability to Iran, they bring trouble.

I think it's absurd to talk about dialogue at a time like this. So many things are unclear: huge inflation inside Iran, our political turmoil, the falling dollar.

Better relations with the US wouldn't make a damn bit of difference. There is no substance in this, it's just petty talk.


REZA, in Tehran

President Obama has sent a green light to Iran, but I worry that our leadership won't see it. I think they will interpret this as the US trying to make a deal with us because we are powerful.

I travel a lot for work, so I can see how Ahmadinejad's presidency has damaged our credibility abroad.

For our Supreme Leader, an approach from the US means something fishy is going on

The high cost of living in Iran is making people miserable. We are selling our oil at about $100 a barrel, but we haven't seen much benefit from it.

The Iranian government is spending money on Hezbollah instead of our own people.

For our Supreme Leader, the sight of the US approaching means something fishy is going on.

I would like Iran to deal with the world in a friendly way. We shouldn't target Israel, we should be friendly.


ARASH, in Mashad

This is very good news. It's a very nice, sweet message for the people of Iran.

Some Iranian websites are carrying a brief description of Mr Obama's speech. My family and I saw it on BBC Persian TV, I think the channel broadcast the entire clip.

It will take several hours for Iranian websites and politicians to respond.

But I do think it's the beginning of a new era. People must realise that this is a real chance to change the relationship between the government of Iran and the new government of the US.

I think some of Iran's big leaders, like [Supreme leader] Ali Khamenei, don't have a clear opinion about the changes taking place: the new attitude in the White House, the active diplomacy, which is the complete opposite of the errors of Mr Bush.

So many people in Iran say, "The US president must take action to demonstrate he can be trusted." But I don't agree.

I think the Iranian government must take action too, to show the world that they are trustworthy.




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