A New Year, A New Beginning

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
March 21, 2009

Download .mp3, .mp4, or .mp4 with Persian subtitles | Read the transcript in English or Persian

President Obama released a special video message for all those celebrating Nowruz. Translated "New Day," Nowruz marks the arrival of spring and the beginning of the New Year for millions in Iran and other communities around the world. This year, the President wanted to send a special message to the people and government of Iran on Nowruz, acknowledging the strain in our relations over the last few decades. "But at this holiday we are reminded of the common humanity that binds us together," he says.

After committing his administration to a future of honest and respectful diplomacy, he continues on to address Iran's leaders directly: "You, too, have a choice. The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations. You have that right -- but it comes with real responsibilities, and that place cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization. And the measure of that greatness is not the capacity to destroy, it is your demonstrated ability to build and create."



California, USA
March 21, 2009

John in California writes:

So refreshing

California, USA
March 21, 2009

Jackie in California writes:

Hi Hillary I listen and read the message President Obama sent to Iran for their Holiday. I also read the Iran Supreme Leader's response. First I remember when the Iran President reached out twice with an Olive Branch to the United States and was smacked down by not only the White House but the U.S. Media. I remember how disrespectfull the Iran President was treated as a guest to the University and how he was denied by the White House when he requested to lay flowers at the 9/11 site. I emailed the President of Iran to apologized and he emailed back and understood it was U.S. Politics not all American people.

I always wondered how Americans and a U.S. President would feel if our President was treated as bad as we treat the Iran President. Look I don't agree with alot of what Iran does or says but that doesn't mean we have to be disrepectful or even tell the World lies like their the Axis of Evil. When our pass President/Vice President showed with proof that for 8 years the U.S. was the real Axis of Evil. I've read and listen alot from the Foreign Leaders and even Iran. Trust is hard to come by and that's the basis of their belief. Let's fact it Hillary with all the lies the Bush Administration has told over the pass 8 years, honesty isn't a U.S. strong point anymore. Look at our Law Makers now it's like they lie so much it looks like " who's on first/who's on second". The World is watching and it will take alot to repair the damage done over the 8 year crime wave not only to the U.S. but the World. So keep the faith and keep showing by actions that the new U.S. Administration can be trusted. But remember to heal one must first admit they were wrong. Without admitting that you can never more forward. My GrandMother told us that as kids and for 62 years it's worked. People will always remember but after admiting you were wrong is the real first step. Take care and God's speed I'll keep watching and reading your travels.

Riverside California

United Kingdom
March 22, 2009

T.J. in the United Kingdom writes:

Dear Jackie,

It looks like you do not understand Politics. Yes, your Grandmother was right, but really do you know what really goes on in the Middle East? Are you aware of the plight of the majority of Iranian people on a daily basis?

Are you aware of constant meddling of the IRI regime in its neighbours affairs and its support for international terrorism?

Deep in your heart, are you an American or a lobbyist on behalf of the Mullahs regime?

I do wonder which you may be,as you do not point out to the instances when the IRI regime has had an active hand in killing Americans in Iraq and elsewhere.

Axis of evil? This was a gentle description for a regime which can not even spell " Human Rights ". In my opinion, taking out Saddam was a mistake. The Head of the Snake lies in Tehran.

Syrian P.
March 22, 2009

SNP in Syria writes:

It pays to be bad and militarily powerful. Even U.K. begging Hezbollah Shia mercenaries for friendship. This should be a lesson to Shamoon, a billboard sign of the next step needed to gain respect and freedom from armed gangs, you need to be strong and bad. Otherwise, you are abandoned.

California, USA
March 22, 2009

Wendy in California writes:

With a few more echoes of Saadi, we have been in a time where 'commotion so arose that discord shook each person from their hearth, so now with 'patience as our treasure,' we must 'never let dust settle on our mirror's shining.'

Recrimination is true, but it does not feed a child. Judgment is no doubt just, but it does not teach a child the future's generous and merciful faith.

Nothing is harder to leave by the side of the road than Righteous Wrath. We treasure our Righteous Wrath with a miser's grasp. But Righteous Wrath belongs to the wronged past. Parents! Heed! Children live in the stainless future -- if *we* 'never let dust settle on their mirrors' shining.'

Connecticut, USA
March 23, 2009

Terry in Connecticut writes:

As a firm supporter of President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's stance towards Iran i think it was a slap in the face what they said in response to Pres. Obama's olive branch. No excuse of Iran's behavior.

March 24, 2009

Solomon in Madagascar writes:

The all Commdeur of the Army of USA

ECONOMIC: Mr president to be I'm on time building us plan for US009.D.gov use for we against the all problem in the usa on Economic and for we can participle defit for development economic in the World. Mr president I hope you are accept take on the your hands the responsability for deliberate and remove the Africa contunent in the place above and honor equal the anothere continent in the world on Economic Social Defence thank Mr Obama president of the usa.

INFO: For the event rebelion in Madagascar to be there is to became wrong moment for kidnap the chief Army of Madagascar and chief the religion and to atack the palace presidential in Iavoloha, but I'm confurme the defence of Madagascar not have and not participle for all the action slander and not respect the constutution in Madagascar,there is acompany of the peaces world and the justuce legal in state of Madagascar.

DEFENCE: To be the us high Startegy of war US009 already build and ready for we can execution iself the all war and country terrorism against us Army usa and the Peaces world. I'm repeat again when I not send message on eache next time you not wait my give order for launch us atack for war on terrorism,when we have tendernes and mercy we are desytroy and ravage we need to clkose the all we open.

COPERATION: For to begin us project presidential we need wait the date legale for election presidential use for we protect us people not victim and use for we respect the Constutution legal in Madagasc and for we accept and respect the democracy and the right of man. We don't fear we already erning the winner because the all sutuation in Madagascar support us for execution us project. I'm confurme and precise for we already earning the winn.

I'm need apointment of you urgent Mr president and Mm secretary clinton.but we need every time ready for to begin us hard war for against the all enemy terrorism and confurme my security.
Also confurme my security in the satelite armour and survey.

Thank very much
The God us protege
Your coperation

Jessica G.
District Of Columbia, USA
March 23, 2009

Jessica G. in Washington, DC writes:

It has become clear that diplomacy is the only means to which Iran and the United States will be able to forge friendly ties under the new administration. The fear of Iran attaining a nuclear weapon seems inevitable, and no sanction or diplomatic "carrot" or "stick" will stop the Iranian government's pursuit to enrich uranium. I believe the Obama administration, in this video and in their efforts, is appropiately reaching out to the Iranian people who seek freedom and opportunities in their country. While the Ayatollah starves its people in order to pursue its uranium-enrichment program, the United States has the opportunity to win the hearts and minds of a people with hopes to better themselves.

New York, USA
March 23, 2009

Scott in New York writes:

Ending the conflict with Iran so everyone wins:

I won't waste time calling for a change in "tone" or for more "respect." The Obama Administration knows this very well, but talking with respect will only get you so far. (Similarly, Sanctions won't work - unless the world - especially China - is willing to stop buying Iranian oil, and stop shipping them refined gasoline. Iran is immune to all other sanctions). We need to have a new beginning, a new framework for discussion.

To begin, we must distinguish between Iran's legitimate desires for nuclear energy, and which they are entitled to pursue as signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Agreement, and the potential for destructive use of enriched uranium for bomb-making. These are NOT the same thing, and recognition of that fact opens up a world of possibilities, which I will detail below.
But first, since everyone has talked about the reasons why Iran should not pursue nuclear power, let me briefly state why it is in our interest that Iran pursues nuclear power:
1. Reducing greenhouse gases. Iran burns oil for power. Iran contributes relatively little to world output of CO2, but everyone must do their part and nuclear power doesn't produce greenhouse gases.
2. Encourage a middle class. We keep talking about how we want Iran to develop a middle class to counter the influence of the mullahs and the undereducated masses. Well, it is hard to imagine a more middle class professional than a nuclear engineer. Also, training to be an engineer opens the mind not just to science, but also to a more liberal worldview. Demand for real political and economic reform will come from an emerging middle class.
3. To stretch finite supplies of oil. Whether we are at peak oil now, or soon will be, we need to buy time to develop alternatives.
4. Make Iran dependent on the rest of the world for uranium. Unlike oil, Iran has few uranium resources of its own. They will be less likely to act as a pariah state when they depend on the world for their power.
5. A source of national pride. This should not be regarded as against our interests. It is the states that feel maligned and disrespected that we have to fear, not those who are partners on the economic stage.

Just in case there is still any doubt, we should make a formal declaration that we will respond with full military force if Iran attacks Israel. If it comes to that, I think even the Arabs will not blame us for destroying such a dangerous neighbor. It is Israel, and not Iran, who most closely reflects our values and interests.

Here is my proposal, that can be applied together or separately. Adopting these proposals should please all parties. Iran would get its nuclear power. Israel and America would be assured that Iran's nuclear fuel could not find its way into bombs.

1a. Investigate and assist Iran in developing nuclear power plants that cannot produce plutonium, for example, pebble bed reactors. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_bed_reactor. These reactors are being built in China and France - which gets 80% of its power from nuclear sources (We also need to centralize nuclear reprocessing as France does, so spent uranium is safe to dispose of). The embedded fuel in this kind of reactor cannot be used to produce highly enriched uranium.

1b. Involve Iran in the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). This global program develops safe and efficient forms of nuclear energy that cannot be diverted into weapon making (no plutonium is produced, and radioactive components cannot be separated from the reactor). The U.S. and Japan are far along. It is the reactor-in-a-box approach. See New Scientist: http://technology.newscientist.com/channel/tech/nuclear. Pebble-Bed reactors are one reactor type being considered under GNEP. By becoming an active and respected member of this partnership, Iran would have a chance to attain the technological leadership it says it wants and deserves.

1c. Set up a Global Uranium Bank (GUB). Just recently, New Scientist published an article on how nations are pressing for a GUB to supply the world's inevitably increasing number of nuclear players internationally monitored fuel sources. There is even agreement on setting up a GUB in Iran, to be monitored by the IEAE.

I have emphasized scientific approaches to this conflict. This is in keeping with Obama?s intention to return science to its rightful place in decision-making.

If Iran truly wants to be a leader in their region, and perhaps the world, as Ahmadinejad claims, they will look forward to using the latest technology since it is safer, cheaper, and better. These alternative approaches guarantee both the peaceful use of nuclear power and security in their region. If they still refuse to change, the world would have a right to demand to know why.

Tennessee, USA
March 23, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

I am afraid the few are still in control over the many and falsely so?

Even here in America, the house does not stand together except in show, it seems. Our economic situation is the result of representation too far and away from our general population base by people who do not have to take any punitive punishment or reduced elevation of position for making poor decisions due to a "if it works don't fix it" attitude. The problem is : If it works for whom? The People, We the People?.

This is important at this juncture as any leader can only be as strong as the people and country He or She represents. Even be it the Pope, he is only as strong as his people, as they are the church.

We are not in any position to dictate right now. We have been economically out maneuvered by China, Russia, India, OPEC and have no loyal base from our allies and those we help the most. We are not an endless give away nation. A prime example is India who has taken vast jobs from Americans, via outsourcing and has purchased over 80% of it?s new military hardware from Russia, not the United States who educated its people and poured vast resources throughout the last four decades to help even negate the caste system there and instill more democracy. They put their energy needs above loyalty. This list goes on to even our European allies now. There is no loyalty from those we help, yet we want to dictate change. We do appear a weak nation beyond our military and that is simply not right, but is what it is. Do any of you read?

How can we help Iran, whose citizens as a whole have no problem with America or Americans, only a leadership who doubts our integrity as we cannot even demonstrate now to each other on Corporate levels, banking or in Representation of our Congress that we can work together in house?

It seems to me, that we must demonstrate the ability to work and correct our problems before reaching out right now and opening a door to fanatics who have more diplomatic savvy and experience -- as Khomeini has, to use the Presidents Good Intentions against us.

Rouhollah Mousavi Khomeini is One of the few, who should Not Exist, who ruins life for so many -- but for the sake of HB, he would not.

New York, USA
March 23, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

The key seems to be in defining nuclear programmes which provide Iran with safe energy and economic security for Iranians. Iran now emblazons it'scurrency with the atomic symbol; so there is no turning back. USG can help to ensure peaceful uses. We should also offer to renew our aid for Iran's drug addiction prevention, treatment and HIV/AIDS systems. Any mutual projects; which put Iran on the global stage as a responsible partner. Any opportunities for USG to be a genuine partner fo peace and stability.

holy s.
March 24, 2009

H.S. writes:

Policy failure That have known The country during the past 8 years Contributed to the expansion of the terrorist entity Start Iraq First you must understand the mentality of a terrorist And on what basis depends Particularly the belief That the secret To win the battle Osama bin Aladen Is the person of Muslim faith and Cultured Why was not looking On Osama bin Aladen in the Islamic religion He will discover an entirely different picture Nothing to do with the Islamic religion Except that distorts the concept of martyrdom

And other arguments In Afghanistan During the reign of the Taliban Prevent women from learning and work In the case of the death of her husband or father Sustain themselves by begging in the street Or prostitution Because each system is based on the brutal If the entertainment The execution of women for Charges Accused prostitution This is contrary to Islamic values Terrorism has no religion

What made matters worse Everyone was a victim of these errors Hatred and insult the Islamic belief Support to bring Osama and terrorism And became a hero in the eyes of Muslims, of course is not everybody, but Only the weak mind of these disgruntled dire social situation friend told me know one of those disaffected Have been lifted by the punishment of imprisonment for non-completion of the evidence against him Say I lived with these people and shock I discovered that preys upon the ignorance of the mind Everyone is eager for the kill

If there Science and better living conditions those Will become reality is something else Now the economic crisis will further aggravate the problem and the international tension, which is in the interest of the terrorist entity Iran and the division of the ruling bloc Some prefer the peace And the other likes to review Forces Nuclear Everyone notes that As for Osama bin Aladen Contract reconciliation with Pakistan Therein lies the risk Open your eyes and see a good That up to this point, Osama Lies the secret of Steadfastness in the al-Qaeda It receives support from State Financial support, weapons and this relationship will prosper in the future In North Africa Osama bin Aladen combat that threatens to Morocco through the Western Sahara But do not Algiers, capital of terrorism in the Maghreb region Why could not the president Bouteflika The victory over terrorism in his country Knots in the last few years Knots in the last few years Boutifleka with Russia to purchase weapons, estimated at 7 billion dollars Can not put an end to terrorism in Algeria And moved Terrorism to Morocco Bouteflika has seen the true character of the first political and legal problems and problems with the press freedoms and the breach of which led to the intervention of the United States for the benefit of Algerian journalists and jurists, and the scandals of public money with the Bank and the successor's policy bias in the portfolios of international transactions and suspicious, who will manipulate the bidding for the mobile mobile Supports the Polisario More than support for the Algerian people

The international community knows that the social situation dire Calls for reconciliation Social To reach a reconciliation of the start of the equation of a humanitarian People have the right To self-determination Free will And not buy the conscience of members of the government for the presidency has always Or intervene in the case of the Moroccan Sahara do not know how to receive support from Iran Some of the Heads of State of the European Union The neutral position of Algeria For oil Loss-making paper, used by Bouteflika Iron man, you know (the EU) You lose Virtue Which inherited Glory owner Algeria is to lose in the absence of oil sold World discover new sources of energy Mysterious thing that the terrorist movement active through clandestine immigration Due to the drug mafia It is an international network It is chaos, non-closure of the border...The internal security of the nation Not enough to guarantee security through the airport The existence of the black market for weapons The secret to the success of immigrant entry into the country Everything evolves, even terrorism Economic crisis What if one of the forms of terrorism In the future...At the international level Ban treaty must be renewed nuclear arms and other weapons Between countries such as Russia and the European Union and the U.S. and other Iran loves the experience of the imposition of power in this world Terrorism and the start of a new policy approach The world is facing new challenges Because of small mistakes The Muslim world and the Islamic movement in the U.S. is one of the must confront Osama bin Aladen because it distorts the religion Just look at the good things...

holy s.
March 25, 2009

H.S. writes:

Call the holy spirit...To U.S.A and To the world...Truth...Mistakes made terrorism

I always see things that do not see the others To the extent that these ideas make me wake up from sleep He was inspired by the sky Why is this Trouble You see things from one angle and hear from a group of people the same idea because of anger And they forget that life Related Many angles And that the universe Extension of his throne The vacuum For To keep the idea of free The source is the different angles Because the universe Basis Endless boundaries The Nook Merely points to guide the wanderer...

Do you ever asked about who is a terrorist The failure of who is a terrorist The failure of governments in the world in the consolidation of the various humanitarian principles Publication of the Justice and Equality Between members of society Which appeals to him Existing systems in the world Start Bad education Ill-treatment of violence in all forms, and the surrounding environment of poverty and lack of awareness Factors that contribute to the creation of a human being detrimental to himself and other Because it gives Thing the Take And you see a clear in the countries that suffer from the presence of the terrorist element, such as developing countries Real capital Each State is the proper structure of the axis of social Under the leadership humanitarian law

However, all the States to ignore the issue Draws attention to the political and economic hub only And the heavy loss When you search in the life of them find that the circumstances that surround the person in various stages of life Is one of the governing Tomorrow If the positive It is a treasure And that it was a negative time bomb Look at the others Like Dr. Condoleezza RiceE What's made me who I am talking about It is a very lucky person Strain belongs to the family of Ray and Rice These two families Racism and poverty were the driving forces of the two families to a different approach in the education And not to surrender to the social differences Was had such a challenge to motivate self to what is the best Skin color of black or yellow or white does not look to the color But to see the will and determination By Superiority You Skills that are a gift from heaven, so that proves that the best And therefore the awareness of parents not to be affected by all the negative aspects of reduced community during that period for the excellence of racism More importantly, the parents love Translates into respecting the opinions and the pursuit of the dream and the use of life sciences and the entry of all fields without fear What a beautiful complement you on the path of strong faith, persistence on the principles of religion Factors make it tomorrow Is in the eyes of the country's treasure Curacy John Wesley Rice, Jr.and Angelina Rae Wonderful mother He considered the ideal be followed by the Educational Science has had an important role in the life Dr. Condoleezza Rice Says The Important value Believe is Viability of moving Toward Supreme Based on the basis of This Viability The ability to level the playing field Through education And the development of culture Lost this part of the dream But if the availability of education for all... Just give him a good example of the latter and their impact on the nation...con

holy s.
March 24, 2009

H.S. writes:

Call the holy spirit...Caution...Taliban group...refuse to believe the Taliban's policy of dialogue with the U.S. Why I refuse Everyone knows that the reason the Taliban has followed al-Qaeda That group, which did not show mercy when the sons of people opposed the system of government Killed the of children by adults The policy of deprivation of liberty, kidnapping Bulletin of terror in the region Osama, who strike at the heart of the U.S. World Trade Building North Africa Europe Spain London They are not looking for peace but destruction Al-Qaida is trying The eye away from something The use of time in their For the world to hit a powerful strike To follow the path of peace with them You are given the identity of terrorism It's a trap................

Andrew C.
District Of Columbia, USA
March 25, 2009

Andrew C. in Washington, DC writes:

This video is an important first step to dealing with the growing Iranian threat in the Middle East. By attempting to establish normal diplomatic relations, this video allows for more pressure to be put on Iran from other nations in the area. In order to effectively deal with Iran, the U.S. must have the support the Arab community as a whole.

I believe this video was meant to be a communication with the people of the Muslim world more than the government of Iran. By appealing to the neighbors of Iran, the U.S. can hope to build a coalition of support to end Iranian attempts to become the local hegemonic power. These nations will see this message and understand that the United States wants normal relations and stability in the region, instead of an Iran capable of intimidation through the threat of nuclear weapons.

This offering of peace and diplomacy is an important first step, but it must be followed up with pressure on the international and especially the Muslim community to confront Iran in the event that they do not oblige.

Maryland, USA
March 28, 2009

Jay in Maryland writes:

President Barack Obama's address to not only the Iranian people but the Iranian government was a message of weakness emblematic of a foolish foreign policy which fails to see the evil in what are properly called our enemies. Obama believes that if hew shows respect and talks nicely to Iran's theocratic dictatorship that it will, in due time, see the light and come to an "understanding" with the United States. However, there is no reason to believe that any enemy, which is crazy enough to deny the Holocaust, will be cooed by such talk. For the Iranians, such gestures of goodwill simply give the regime more time to build its nuclear arsenal. Interestingly, Obama did not even mention this problem as of course he would not want to infuriate Iran's regime even this is our nation's number one problem with Iran. It is doubtful that those Iranians which oppose their government, such as members of the persecuted Baha'i religion, were much impressed by the President's respect of their nation's leaders.

Matthew M.
District Of Columbia, USA
March 30, 2009

Matthew M. in Washington, DC writes:

By committing to diplomatic solutions to the issues that divide Iranian and U.S. government, Obama may be eliciting a shift in overall policy from containment, to useful integration of nuclear technology. Nuclear proliferation has clearly become a pertinent issue with countries seeking to increase their status among nations, and the Obama Administration may be using messages such as this video to open up to the Iranian people. However, I am skeptical as to the overall impact of this message upon Iranian leaders and civilians. There are military, political and tribal leaders in Iran all pushing for often competing goals, making the motives of Iran, as well as the overall opinion of the people, difficult to gauge. A direct message to the people of Iran, in this case, may fall upon deaf ears.

Messages such as these from the Obama Administration help to fulfill their campaign promise of change in American diplomacy in the Middle East. Although I am optimistic about the direction Obama is attempting to take in the Middle East, it will be interesting to see if any real progress can be made in the coming years toward a trusting and open diplomatic relationship between Iran and concerned nations.


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