A leading Iranian cleric says his nation will continue to hate America even under a Barack Obama presidency, unless Washington changes what he called its "arrogant" nature.

During Friday prayers in Tehran, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said Mr. Obama would suffer the same destiny as U.S. President George Bush, whom he described as hated by the world.

The ayatollah, an ally of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Mr. Obama's slogan of change was imposed by world conditions and the resistance of the Iranian people.

Iran has sent mixed messages on Mr. Obama's election victory, with some hardliners expressing caution.  But President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad sent a letter of congratulations to the president-elect, the first time a leader of revolutionary Iran has offered such a message.

Ayatollah Khamenei, who has final say on state matters, has yet to publicly comment on Mr. Obama's election victory.