Iranian papers support president's letter to Obama

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's president is earning some praise at home for his message of congratulations to President-elect Obama.

The letter from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sent last week. It marked the first time an Iranian leader has offered such wishes to the winner of a U.S. presidential election since 1979. That's when the countries broke off relations in the wake of Iran's Islamic Revolution and the taking of hostages at the U.S. Embassy.

One independent newspaper said the Iranian overture could create "an important opportunity for both sides."

Another independent newspaper reports that Ahmadinejad's press adviser expects Obama to give "a deserving answer to the message as soon as possible."

The letter did have some critics among Iran's hard-line newspapers and lawmakers. They said the greeting made Iran appear weak.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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