Iran''s parliament speaker Ali Larijani said on Wednesday that US President Barack Obama''s "fine words" were not enough to repair the damage of three decades of troubled Tehran-Washington ties.

"Our dispute with the US is not an emotional issue and can not be resolved by congratulatory messages or fine words," Larijani, on a visit to the Shiite holy city of Najaf, south of the Iraqi capital, told reporters.

"Our dispute has been going on for 30 years," he said.

"That country has always opposed the Islamic republic, especially during the eight years of war launched by Saddam Hussein against our country, at the urging of the US," he said, referring to the Iran-Iraq conflict of 1980-1988.

Obama on March 20 proposed an end to three decades of animosity in a message for the Iranian New Year, in a departure from the tough line adopted by his predecessor George W. Bush.

Washington and Tehran broke off diplomatic relations following the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran that overthrew its pro-Western shah.

Larijani, who met in Najaf with Iraq''s top Shiite religious leader Ayatollah Ali Husseini al-Sistani, also criticised Washington''s role in Iraq, where a US-led invasion of March 2003 toppled strongman Saddam.

"The Iraqis suffered a long time under a tyrant and the Americans should not play this role (of tyrant) now," he said.

On Tuesday, Obama said he expected "steady progress" resolving disputes with Iran after his unprecedented appeal which was recorded on video and posted on the Internet.