Khamenei hails Obama "window of opportunity" on Iran

TEHRAN Thu Mar 8, 2012 6:53pm IST

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R) meets with members of the Assembly of Experts in Tehran March 8, 2012. REUTERS/Khamenei.ir/Handout

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R) meets with members of the Assembly of Experts in Tehran March 8, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Khamenei.ir/Handout

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TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has welcomed comments by U.S. President Obama about the need to dampen the drumbeat of war as a diplomatic "window of opportunity", the Iranian state news agency IRNA said on Thursday.

"We heard two days ago that the U.S. president said that (they) are not thinking about war with Iran. These words are good words and an exit from delusion," Khamenei was quoted by IRNA as saying.

But Khamenei said Obama had also spoken about bringing "the Iranian people to their knees through sanctions. This part of his comments shows that the illusion continues".

The United States and European allies have expanded economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic to get it to rein in its disputed nuclear programme.

(Reporting By Marcus George; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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