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Obama Praises Iranians, Not Leader

President Obama took to Iran’s airwaves to reach out to Iranian citizens in a radio interview with BBC Persian Friday. Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continued his inflammatory rhetoric, telling reporters the U.N. should set up a fact-finding committee to explore the conspiracy theory that the American government planned the 9/11 attacks to justify wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—talk that caused the U.S. delegation walk out of his U.N. speech Thursday. Obama's radio address offered somewhat conflicting messages, praising Iranians, condemning their president, expressing willingness to work out the nuclear problem diplomatically, and supporting the opposition movement. Obama told listeners that sanctions were meant to punish the government, not the people of Iran. But better relations are possible, Obama said, if Tehran changes its tone. Iran has said it wants to resume talks, but Western leaders think much progress is unlikely.