Iran said on Tuesday it will await the "practical policies" of new US President Barack Obama before passing judgement on his position on the Islamic state, the official Irna news agency reported.

"We prefer to wait and see what the practical policies of the American government will be" toward Iran, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said.

He also called on the new US president to take a new look at the Middle East, saying that the "traditional way of looking at it ... will bring nothing."

Obama has promised to open dialogue with Tehran while continuing to insist it suspends its controversial nuclear programme.

The administration of former US president George W. Bush refused to engage in direct negotiations with Iran unless it first stopped enriching uranium, material which Washington fears could be used to build an atomic bomb.

Tehran says its nuclear programme is purely for peaceful purposes.

Washington severed ties with Iran in 1980 in the wake of the Islamic revolution after Islamist students stormed the US embassy in Tehran and held 52 diplomats hostage for 444 days.