President Barack Obama once again sent a greeting to those who are marking the “New Day” that opens the new year.
All over the world diverse populations, including Americans, Afghans, Kurds, Azeris, Iranians, and the people of Central Asia are celebrating the ancient spring festival of Nowruz. President Barack Obama once again sent a greeting to those who are marking the “New Day” that opens the new year.
“Dorood. As you and your families come together to celebrate Nowruz, I want to extend my best wishes on this new spring and new year. Around the world, and here in the United States, you are gathering at the Nowruz table – to give thanks for loved ones, reflect on your blessings and welcome all the possibilities of a new season.”
As he has for the past four years, Mr. Obama used the occasion “to speak directly to the people and leaders of Iran:”
“Since taking office, I have offered the Iranian government an opportunity – if it meets its international obligations, then there could be a new relationship between our two countries, and Iran could begin to return to its rightful place among the community of nations.”
Mr. Obama noted the difficulty of overcoming decades of mistrust between Iran and the United States, mistrust that includes the world’s growing concern over Iran’s nuclear program, which has caused the people of Iran to pay “a high and unnecessary price because of your leaders’ unwillingness to address this issue.”
“As I’ve said all along, the United States prefers to resolve this matter peacefully, diplomatically. Indeed if – as Iran’s leaders say – their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, then there is a basis for a practical solution. It’s a solution that would give Iran access to peaceful nuclear energy while resolving once and for all the serious questions that the world has about the true nature of the Iranian nuclear program.”
Mr. Obama said he hoped Iran’s leaders will choose “the better path” of a diplomatic solution:
“For the sake of the Iranian people and for the sake of the world. Because there’s no good reason for Iranians to be denied the same opportunities enjoyed by people in other countries, just as Iranians deserve the same freedoms and rights as people everywhere.”
President Obama expressed hope that Iran and the U.S “can move beyond tension,” and he promised to “continue to work toward a new day between our nations that bears the fruit of friendship and peace.”