“The Iranian people would welcome a hand extended to it if the hand is truly based on honesty,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday. The “hand” has so far come in the form of a New Year’s message from President Obama, a surprise direct diplomatic contact and a commitment from the U.S. to re-engage in multilateral talks.

Vice President Joe Biden, meanwhile, warned Israel’s hawkish new prime minister not to attack Iran.

New York Times:

Mr. Obama said in a message late last month that he wanted better ties with Iran and offered a new start in relations. Iran and the United States severed diplomatic ties in 1979 after students attacked the American Embassy in Tehran and took its diplomats hostage.

“The Iranian people would welcome a hand extended to it if the hand is truly based on honesty,” said Mr. Ahmadinejad in a speech in Isfahan on Wednesday, the Fars news agency reported.

“Yet, if it has an honest appearance but is dishonest by nature, the Iranian people would give the same response that it gave to George Bush. Therefore the change should be in action, not in words.”

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