TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran reacted coolly Wednesday to the inauguration of Barack Obama, while some Arab leaders immediately called on the new American president to dive into Mideast peace efforts.Quote has been trimmed
On the streets of the Muslim world, from Arab capitals to Palestinian refugee camps, some greeted Obama's first hours as president with pessimism, others with hope. Newspaper editorials and political commentators laid out the challenges facing the new U.S. administration, from the wreckage in Gaza to how to end the war in Iraq and confront a strengthening Taliban in Afghanistan.
A Jordanian doctor of Palestinian origin said the moment was right for the Middle East, as well, to take steps to build better ties with the United States.
"Arabs, both ordinary people and their leaders, should stop their defiance and insults of the U.S. administration and the American people," said Jihad Barghouti.
In Iran, the government was waiting to see what practical steps Obama would take toward a country that the Bush administration shunned. In recent years, the two nations have been deeply at odds over Iran's nuclear program and what the U.S. says is its support for Shiite militiamen in neighbouring Iraq -- a charge Iran denies. Obama has spoken of a need to engage the...