Iran: Americans want change in Bush policies

Foreign Minister Mottaki says changes in foreign policy will play critical role on election day this November.

Mottaki 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Mottaki 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Iran's foreign minister said Thursday his country believes American voters want changes to US President George W. Bush's foreign policy and that the campaign for November's election proves it. Manouchehr Mottaki said he isn't endorsing any particular candidate, but he believes changes in foreign policy will play a critical role on election day this November. "What is very clear in the United States is that everybody is looking for changes, that is very important," Mottaki told a group of US reporters on the sidelines of an international conference on Iraq outside Stockholm. "The foreign policy of the United States will affect this presidential election, and that's why all the candidates are trying to say something new to public opinion." Mottaki said the three remaining candidates are trying to present new ideas to the public to win votes. Asked about Democratic presidential candidate Barak Obama - who at one point suggested he might be willing to meet with the president of Iran - Mottaki said he didn't want to discuss specific candidates, including Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Sen. John McCain, whose foreign policy positions align more closely with the Bush administration. "We do not consider the different candidates and what they say," he said in response. "We look to the policies of the United States towards our region in general and towards Iran in particular. "We try not to take part before the final result of the election in the United States and then we will look to their policies," he added. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was attending the conference, seemed to go out of her way to avoid Mottaki, and the two had no plans to meet one-on-one. During Mottaki's speech to the conference, live TV footage showed Rice rolling her eyes and smirking as he spoke. Mottaki criticized the "mistaken policies" of the US-led coalition in Iraq, saying they are responsible for a grave situation there. He also said that Iran and other neighbors have played a prominent role in the reconstruction of Iraq. "Due to the mistaken policies pursued by the occupiers in Iraq, the situation of security in Iraq is now so grave that it has cast its shadow on life in this country," Mottaki said. The US government has repeatedly accused Iran of arming militants for attacks on Americans in Iraq, a charge Iran denies. More than 500 delegates from dozens of countries and international organizations were attending the conference outside Stockholm, including Iraqi government officials and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.