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Update: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he is ready for dialogue if change is "fundamental" and talks are based on mutual respect.
On the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, President Obama's stance on Tehran at his first news conference last night has made headlines.
Obama maintained his long-term position, talk first but be ready to get tough. Significantly, however, he put the emphasis on the dialogue: "In the coming months, we will be looking for openings that can be created where we can start sitting across the table face to face."
The President cautioned, "There's been a lot of mistrust built up over the years, so [the discussions are] not going to happen overnight." And he made the necessary gesture towards US concerns over Iran's nuclear programme and support of "terrorist" groups.
Overall, however, Obama's comments appear to be a clear signal to Iran that he is satisfied with the opening at-distance exchanges. Both former Iranian President Hashem Rafsanjani and key politician Ali Larijani said on Monday that they were cautious but encouraged by the openings offered with speeches like Vice President Joe Biden's on Saturday. Larijani told CNN that this was "an exceptional opportunity" to improve relations.