President Obama used Nowruz, the Persian new year, to send a message to Iranians about what the future may hold if a nuclear deal with Iran is made, or not.
The video message, embedded below, was posted to YouTube on Thursday.
Obama’s Nowruz statement has occurred during a very important time for the United States, along with other world leaders, as they are in the midst of reaching an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Obama’s message displays his hope that a deal will be made.
“This year, that includes our hopes for progress between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the international community, including the United States. So I want to take this opportunity once again to speak directly to the people and leaders of Iran,” Obama says in the video. “As you gather around the Nowruz table—from Tehran to Shiraz to Tabriz, from the coasts of the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf—you’re giving thanks for your blessings and looking ahead to the future.
“This year, we have the best opportunity in decades to pursue a different future between our countries," Obama continues. "Just over a year ago, we reached an initial understanding regarding Iran’s nuclear program. And both sides have kept our commitments. Iran has halted progress on its nuclear program and even rolled it back in some areas. The international community, including the United States, has provided Iran with some relief from sanctions. Now, our diplomats—and our scientists—are engaged in negotiations in the hopes of finding a comprehensive solution that resolves the world’s concerns with Iran’s nuclear program.
“The days and weeks ahead will be critical," Obama adds. "Our negotiations have made progress, but gaps remain. And there are people, in both our countries and beyond, who oppose a diplomatic resolution. My message to you—the people of Iran—is that, together, we have to speak up for the future we seek.”
Obama says Iran’s leaders have a choice between two “paths.” One that will keep the country on its current path of “isolation,” and the other towards a better future with “greater opportunities.”
“In this sense, Iran’s leaders have a choice between two paths," Obama states. "If they cannot agree to a reasonable deal, they will keep Iran on the path it’s on today—a path that has isolated Iran, and the Iranian people, from so much of the world, caused so much hardship for Iranian families, and deprived so many young Iranians of the jobs and opportunities they deserve.
“On the other hand, if Iran’s leaders can agree to a reasonable deal, it can lead to a better path—the path of greater opportunities for the Iranian people," Obama says. "More trade and ties with the world. More foreign investment and jobs, including for young Iranians. More cultural exchanges and chances for Iranian students to travel abroad. More partnerships in areas like science and technology and innovation. In other words, a nuclear deal now can help open the door to a brighter future for you—the Iranian people, who, as heirs to a great civilization, have so much to give to the world."
Obama views the current possibility of a deal with Iran as an opportunity that should not be missed.
“I believe that our nations have an historic opportunity to resolve this issue peacefully—an opportunity we should not miss,” Obama says.
“For decades, our nations have been separated by mistrust and fear," he continues. "Now it is early spring. We have a chance—a chance—to make progress that will benefit our countries, and the world, for many years to come. Now it is up to all of us, Iranians and Americans, to seize this moment and the possibilities that can bloom in this new season."
The nuclear deal talks with Iran are taking place as a combined effort of the U.S., Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany.
Israel, an ally of the U.S., opposes a nuclear agreement with Iran, reports NPR.