via Telegraph UK
Iran’s conservative parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani has branded US President-Elect Barack Obama’s comments on Tehran’s nuclear activities as “cowboy” talk, the ISNA news agency reported.”These comments resemble those of old American cowboys. If you have something to say about (Iran’s) nuclear issue, just say so. Why wave a stick,” asked Mr Larijani, in a speech in Qazvin province.
“The new US president has said he wants to pressure Iran since it seeks to produce atomic weapons and because it supports the terrorists like Hamas and Hizbollah,” he added.
“We are proud of supporting Hizbollah since they are defending their homeland and you are wrong in calling them terrorists.”
Iran is a staunch supporter of the Palestinian Hamas and Lebanese militant group Hizbollah.
In an interview broadcast on Sunday, Mr Obama vowed “tough but direct diplomacy” with Iran, offering incentives along with the threat of tougher sanctions over its atomic programme.
As president from January 20, Mr Obama said he would make clear to Tehran that the nuclear program was “unacceptable,” along with support of Hamas and Hizbollah and its “threats against Israel.”
Mr Obama, whose offer of direct talks with Iran represents a break with three decades of US foreign policy, promised a “set of carrots and sticks in changing their calculus about how they want to operate.”
Three days ago, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi said “the carrot and stick approach has proven to be useless.”