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Obama Directly Addresses Iranian People, Leaders

By Matthew Yglesias on March 20, 2009 at 12:10 am

"Obama Directly Addresses Iranian People, Leaders"

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For a while now, people have been wondering how the Obama administration is going to approach its diplomatic opening with Iran. Part of the answer, it seems, is the interesting tactic of delivering an address directly to the people and government of Iran on the occasion of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year:

So in this season of new beginnings I would like to speak clearly to Iran’s leaders. We have serious differences that have grown over time. My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran and the international community. This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect.

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.

It’s a good message, I think. And it’s well done—a Persian transcript and a web video with Persian subtitles are up on the website. There’s really an intention to have Iranians watch this.

On the ins-and-outs of the policy, I would recommend this post as perhaps offering a way forward.

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