Ali Akbar Salehi

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Salehi expressed hope that the new U.S. Secretary of State would affect a change in what he referred to as the “anti-Iranian policies and approaches” of his office.

Salehi told the Fars News Agency on February 1: “John Kerry is a well known figure in U.S. foreign policy… we hope that his individual characteristics could let him change at least some of the anti-Iranian policies and approaches and, by reforming the cruel, inappropriate and costly approaches of the U.S. government, reduce the human and financial costs of U.S. policy for the people of the regions as well as the American people.”

John Kerry took helm of the U.S. State Department on February 1, replacing Hillary Clinton. The 69-year-old Massachusetts Senator was head of the Senate’s foreign relations committee.

In 2004, he ran for president against George Bush and lost by a small margin. He had said at the time that as president he would open talks with Iran.

Kerry was also one of the U.S. senators who in 2008 called for the opening of a U.S. interests office in Tehran to expand U.S. diplomatic presence in the region.

Iranian-U.S. diplomatic relations have been severed since the Islamic Republic took power in Iran, following the fall of Iran’s last monarch, Mohammadreza Pahlavi, in 1979.