Ali Larijani

Parliamenteary Speaker Ali Larijani says U.S. President Barack Obama’s New Year’s message to Iranians was “disappointing and ridiculous.”

At the first parliamentary session of the Iranian New Year, Larijani said the Obama’s statements have shown to Iranians “the behind-the-scenes dishonesty of the U.S. efforts to open a dialogue with the Islamic Republic over the past two years.”

Obama has issued a message for every Iranian New Year, which begins on March 21, ever since he became the U.S. president. Unlike his earlier messages, which addressed Iranian government and were overtures to re-establishing mutual relations, his latest Norooz message was aimed directly at the Iranian people, expressing support for recent
anti-government protests.

Obama compared the Egyptian uprising in Tahrir Square to Iran’s massive anti-government protests that followed the controversial re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009. He criticized the Iranian government for the continued oppression of its people.

The U.S. president’s message had been condemned earlier by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.