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March 20, 2010

Iranian Supreme Leader: US Actions Don't Match Words

Iran's supreme leader has accused the United States of plotting against Iran while calling for better relations between the countries.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei criticized Washington's policies on Sunday in the Shi'ite holy city of Mashhad, during an address marking the Persian New Year.

He said U.S. President Barack Obama took the worst stand against Tehran when he called Iran's post-election protesters "rights activists."

Khamenei said the Iranians who rallied against the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last year were actually "rioters."

On Friday, Mr. Obama renewed his offer of dialogue with the Iranian government and called for more educational exchanges with the Iranian people.

In a Nowruz greeting on the Internet, Mr. Obama said the U.S. is committed to a more hopeful future for Iranians, despite differences with their government.

The U.S. is concerned Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb, and Washington is leading international efforts to impose more sanctions on the Tehran government.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful activities like generating electricity.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.