For centuries millions of people have gathered each year to rejoice in the arrival of Spring and partake in traditions that mark the vernal equinox as the beginning of a new year. Today, Secretary of State John Kerry joined President Barack Obama in wishing a joyous and healthy Nowruz to all who celebrate around the world -- throughout Asia and the Caucasus, to the Persian Gulf region, and in the United States.
In a message to the Iranian people, Secretary Kerry said, "the United States and Iran have endured many harsh winters. But now, with the coming of Spring, we can all embrace this opportunity to move toward a better future. It is my sincere hope that if Iran’s leaders make the right choices – the necessary choices – in the ongoing nuclear talks, that this new year and this new Spring will mark a better future both for the Iranian people and for the world. This Nowruz, as you reflect on the preceding year and look forward to a new one, may the spirit of reconciliation mend past differences and the spirit of hope lead the way towards new growth and opportunity."
— Department of State (@StateDept) March 20, 2015
President Obama --in a message directly to the Iranian people -- underscored our hope for progress between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the international community, including the United States. "This year, we have the best opportunity in decades to pursue a different future between our countries. 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 President continued, "The days and weeks ahead will be critical. 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. As I have said many times before, I believe that our countries should be able to resolve this issue peacefully, with diplomacy." "Iran’s leaders have a choice between two paths," President Obama continued. "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."
President Obama underscored the importance of what’s at stake today and that this moment may not come again soon. He concluded, "I believe that our nations have an historic opportunity to resolve this issue peacefully—an opportunity we should not miss....For decades, our nations have been separated by mistrust and fear. 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."
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