Iranians Paying Close Attention To Obama Inauguration

(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
CBS News in Tehran asked a close aide to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad if the Iranian leader was going to watch Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony. "The tragedy of Gaza is so deep that it has overshadowed this inauguration for us in Iran," replied the aide.

Iranian opinion is split between those who are hopeful that Obama will bring the change that he's promised, and those who do not believe the world will see much difference in U.S. policies. Many followed Mr. Obama closely during his campaign, and today many were planning to watch his inauguration.

One older Iranian woman who has been involved in politics since her youth told us she does not remember any U.S. president's inauguration that has attracted such attention among people in Iran.

A civil servant in his 30s who could not watch the ceremony said, "It is a relief to know that Bush is not going to be the president anymore from tonight. Unfortunately I cannot watch this joyous occasion tonight."

Shia News is happy that the new U.S. president who is taking the oath is called Barack Hussein Obama.