Axis of evil countries "open" to Obama. Al Qaeda calls upon him to convert to Islam
Ahmadinejad congratulates the U.S. president-elect and asks for "fundamental and fair" changes on foreign policy. North Korea says it is ready "for dialogue," and calls upon Obama to relegate the errors of previous governments to the past. No official comment from Myanmar.

Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) - From axis of evil countries comes partial openness to American president-elect Barack Obama, who is being asked to disown the stance adopted in foreign policy by his predecessor, George Bush. A fundamentalist group connected to Al Qaeda instead calls upon Obama and Christian countries to "convert to Islam."

On Thursday, November 6, the official news agency Irna published a text in which Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad congratulates Barack Obama for his success in the election, and calls upon the new U.S. head of state for "fundamental and fair" changes in foreign policy, characterized by "noninterference" in the domestic affairs of other countries.

In a document published in the English section of the official news agency Irna, the Iranian president "congratulates" Barack Obama "on being able to attract the majority of votes of the participants of the election," and expresses the hope that he will work to "rectify the critical situation facing the US, restore lost reputation as well as their hope and spirit, fully respect human rights and strengthen family foundations."

It is the first message of congratulations that an Iranian leader has sent to a newly elected American president since 1979, the year of the Khomeini revolution, with the ascent to power of the ayatollahs. For almost 30 years, the two countries have not had official diplomatic relations, and George W. Bush has repeatedly included Iran on the list of countries that are part of the so-called "axis of evil."

"Convert to Islam" is the message that the leaders of Al Qaeda have issued "to the new leaders of the White House and their allies among Christian countries." The text is signed by Abu Omar al Baghdad, an association of terrorist groups guided by the Iraqi branch of Al Qaeda.

Partial openness to the new American president is also coming from North Korea, which says it is ready to "sign agreements" with the new U.S. administration. The report comes from Ri Gun, North Korea's representative in the six-party talks on Pyongyang's nuclear program. "We will have dialogue if (the US) seeks dialogue." A newspaper connected to the Pyongyang regime, printed in Japan, also emphasizes the "the new phase" into which the Korean Peninsula has entered, and invites the new Obama administration "to put behind it the errors of the governments that preceded it."

From Myanmar, ruled for more than 20 years by a military regime that violently represses dissent, there has so far been no official comment on the results of the American election. The leaders of the National League for Democracy, however, hail Obama's victory "with caution," and reiterate that "only time" will tell whether the new president will be able to "open a breach" in the isolation imposed by the ruling dictatorship in the former Burma.

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