Iran nuclear talks in Baghdad May 23, 2012 (Reuters)
Iran's chief negotiator Saeed Jalili (3rd R) and his delegation attend a meeting with representatives of the U.S., Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain in Baghdad, May 23, 2012. Photo by Reuters
Text size

Iran reacted coolly to Barack Obama's re-election on Wednesday, as the head of its judiciary condemned the "crimes" of U.S. sanctions and indicated the president should not expect rapid new negotiations with Tehran.

"After all this pressure and crimes against the people of Iran, relations with America cannot be possible overnight and Americans should not think they can hold our nation to ransom by coming to the negotiating table," Sadeq Larijani was quoted as saying by IRNA news agency.

There had been speculation that, if Obama won a second term, the United States, which has not had diplomatic relations with Iran for three decades, might seek to engage it in direct talks. Obama wants to curb an Iranian nuclear program which he believes has a military purpose, despite Iran's denials.

Larijani recalled disappointment in Tehran after Obama first took office in 2008: "Four years ago, Obama ... announced he would extend the hand of cooperation to Iran," he said. "But he pursued a different path and imposed unprecedented sanctions and it is natural the Iranian people will never forget such crimes."

Other Iranian leaders had yet to comment.

The official news agency IRNA, which reflects the standpoint of the presidential office, said Wednesday that Iran hoped that the re-election of Obama would lead to new developments.

"The challenges ahead of Obama in his second presidential term will hopefully lead to positive impacts and developments and not be like in the last four years," IRNA said.