In Newroz message, Obama talks to Iran about food, poetry and ‘different future’

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Greeting Iranians on their New Year in their own language, quoting an Iranian poet and saying he would be celebrating at the White House with traditional Persian food, US President Barack Obama spoke of a “chance for a different future” between the two archenemies.

“To everyone who is celebrating Newroz in the United States and the world ‘Newroz Mubarak,’” Obama said on the eve of Sunday’s holiday, celebrated around the world by Iranians, Kurds, Afghans and the people of Tajikistan.

“Every year as a president I have taken this opportunity, the hope of spring to speak directly to the people of Iran about how we might open a new window and begin a new relationship between our countries,” Obama said.

“Now for the first time in decades, there is a chance for a different future,” he added in the video message that was published Saturday and is his last Newroz greeting as president. 

Obama said that the United States has endeavored to deal with Iran -- which has considered Washington as its archenemy since the 1979 Islamic revolution -- in a spirit of “mutual interest and mutual respect.”

“We recognize Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy consistent with Iran’s nuclear obligations,” he said, referring to a nuclear accord Tehran reached with six world powers last year that had international sanctions lifted on Iran in exchange for curbs on its atomic program.

He reassured Iranians that the benefits of lifted sanctions will be felt soon.

“It may take time for you, the Iranian people, to feel the full benefit of the lifted sanctions in your daily lives, but the benefits are undeniable,” he said.

Obama added that, “Americans are eager to buy more of your beautiful Persian carpets, caviar, pistachios and saffron,” which were banned from entry into the US under the sanctions.

But the US president also referred to “profound differences” between the two countries, noting that last July’s nuclear accord “was never intended to resolve all the disputes between our two nations.”

He added that, “The fact that we are now talking to each other on a regular basis for the first time in decades, gives us an opportunity, a window, to resolve other issues.”

He said he would be celebrating Newroz at the White House with sabzi polo mahi, a traditional festive dish of fried fish and rice.

Obama also referred to a poem by prominent 20th century Persian poet Fereydoon Moshiri, saying he was a “great poet.”

Newroz is marked on March 21, except on leap years, when it is celebrated one day earlier.

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In Newroz message, Obama talks to Iran about food, poetry and ‘different future’ In Newroz message, Obama talks to Iran about food, poetry and ‘different future’ Reviewed by Unknown on 02:49:00 Rating: 5

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