March 20, 2015, Washington, D.C. – As he has done in previous years, President Obama yesterday released a special video message to those celebrating Nowruz, taking the opportunity to speak directly to the people of Iran and the Iranian leadership.
This year’s Nowruz message precedes the March 31st deadline for international negotiators and Iran to reach the first stage of an agreement over Iran’s nuclear program.
“The days and weeks ahead will be critical,” said President Obama. “My message to you—the people of Iran—is that, together, we have to speak up for the future we seek.”
The president stated that Iran must now choose between walking away from a deal, leading to continued international isolation and economic hardship, or accepting a reasonable deal that ensures Iran’s nuclear program is used for peaceful purposes only. In choosing a diplomatic resolution, the President promised that Iran will have the opportunity for more trade ties with the world, partnerships in science, and cultural exchanges which will lead to a brighter future for the Iranian people.
The President concluded his address by reciting a poem by the renowned Persian poet, Hafez.
“It is early spring. Try to be joyful in your heart. For many a flower will bloom while you will be in clay.”
Just as Hafez’s poem alludes to the opportunities of springtime, the President called on both Iranians and Americans “to seize this moment and the possibilities that can bloom in this new season.”