Washington, Mar.20 (ANI): President Barack Obama congratulated the Iranians on their New Year early on Friday, hinting that the United States might be willing to ease trade sanctions against Tehran if it behaves more responsibly in international affairs.
Obama4s comments, which were videotaped for broadcast to the Iranian people, contrasted with exhortations from the Bush administration for the Iranian people to rise up and overturn their Islamic government, reports the Washington Times.
In his message, Obama made it plain that he was seeking a change in Iranian behavior, not a change in the regime.
"On the occasion of your New Year, I want you, the people and leaders of Iran, to understand the future that we seek. It's a future with renewed exchanges among our people, and greater opportunities for partnership and commerce. It's a future where the old divisions are overcome, where you and all of your neighbors and the wider world can live in greater security and greater peace," Obama said.
In return, however, he said that Iran must assume "real responsibilities" and take 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."
White House spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to comment further on U.S.-Iran ties, saying: "I think the video speaks for itself." (ANI)