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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, has written President-elect Barack Obama a letter congratulating him for his election victory, and said he hoped the new president would “choose to honor the real interests of people and justice and equity over the insatiable appetites of the selfish minority.” Ahmadinejad also said that people want “fundamental change in the American government’s policies, both foreign and domestic.”

This is an interesting development for several reasons. First, during the campaign Hillary Clinton and John McCain tried to hammer Obama over his willingness to talk to America’s adversaries without preconditions, Iran being one of the countries in question. Second, this is the first time since the Iranian revolution of 1979 that an Iranian president has congratulated an American president-elect.

You can read an English translation of the full text of the letter here.

This could be the beginning of an interesting new chapter in U.S.-Iranian diplomatic relations.

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