PARIS (AFP) - US President Barack Obama's landmark call for a "new beginning" with arch-foe Iran drew international praise on Friday, with world leaders hoping Tehran will react positively to Washington's olive branch. In a video message to the Iranian people to mark Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, Obama said his administration was committed "to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran and the international community." The White House said Friday that the US has a set of next steps planned to encourage dialogue with Tehran after the release of President Barack Obama's video message to Iran's leaders and people. His statement, a clear break with the policies of the previous administration of president George W. Bush, was welcomed by France, Italy, Russia and the European Union. And in Iran itself, where officials often call the United States the "Great Satan," a top adviser to hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad welcomed the message but also urged Washington to recognize and repair "past mistakes." French President Nicolas Sarkozy told reporters after a European Union summit in Brussels that Obama's speech was "good news." "We have been waiting for years for the Americans to re-engage in the Iranian issue," he said. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana voiced hope that Obama's message would mark the start of a "new chapter" in relations between Washington and Tehran which have had no diplomatic ties since 1980. "I think it is a very constructive message," Solana said in Brussels. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini praised Obama, saying he "has shown great leadership." "It is a big change... in the direction hoped for by Italy," Frattini said, according to Sky TG-24 television. In Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said: "We welcome it." "The start of substantive dialogue will facilitate the revival of trust in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme," Ryabkov told journalists. The West accuses Iran of seeking to develop atomic weapons under the guise of a nuclear energy programme, a charge Tehran vehemently denies. Russia, a member of the UN Security Council, is helping Iran build a nuclear power plant. Ryabkov said Moscow sees no sign that Tehran's contested nuclear programme has a military purpose. "For the time being, we see no signs of a switch of this programme to military purposes," he said. Solana and Frattini both urged Iran to respond positively to Obama. "I hope very much that the Iranians will take good attention of what has been said by President Obama," Solana said. "I hope very much that Tehran will act intelligently." Frattini said the ball was now back in the Iranian court. "The next step will be seen in The Hague," which at the end of the month will host an international conference on Afghanistan which Iran has been invited to attend by the United States, he said. Frattini said he hoped Tehran will send Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki to the conference, rather than a low-level delegate, "because Iran has great influence over Afghanistan and can help, namely in the fight against drug traffickers." Mottaki has said Iran was considering the invitation. But the Italian foreign minister also warned that Obama's overture to Iran should not be at the expense of "a serious examination" of the Islamic republic's nuclear programme. Without directly restating accusations of Iran's support for terrorism or its nuclear programme, Obama said "the United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations." Obama's predecessor Bush had listed Iran among an "axis of evil," along with North Korea and Iraq under Saddam Hussein.