President Obama is marking the Iranian Spring holiday of Nowruz, using the occasion to promote a peaceful nuclear deal with their leaders, calling it the “the best opportunity in decades to pursue a different future between our countries.”
“For decades, our nations have been separated by mistrust and fear. Now it is early spring,” he said in a video message released by the White House. “We have a chance—a chance—to make progress that will benefit our countries, and the world, for many years to come.”
Obama appears encouraged by assertions from Iranian President Rouhani that they would never develop a nuclear weapon and Ayatollah Khamenei supposedly issuing a fatwa against development of nuclear weapons.
“Together with the international community, the United States has said that Iran should have access to peaceful nuclear energy, consistent with Iran’s international obligations,” he said. “So there is a way for Iran—if it is willing to take meaningful, verifiable steps—to assure the world that its nuclear program is, in fact, for peaceful purposes only.”
Obama asserted that Iranians had a choice between isolating themselves from the rest of the world or agreeing to a deal that would open up the Iranian economy and offer the people opportunity.
“This is what’s at stake today. And this moment may not come again soon,” he cautioned. “I believe that our nations have an historic opportunity to resolve this issue peacefully—an opportunity we should not miss.”
Obama closed his address by quoting a Persian poet.
“As the poet Hafez wrote, ‘It is early spring. Try to be joyful in your heart. For many a flower will bloom while you will be in clay.’”