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NIAC Lauds President Obama's Unprecedented Norooz Message for Peace

Press Release, National Iranian American Council

Washington DC - President Barack Obama sent an unprecedented message to the Iranian people and government on the occasion of Norooz, expressing his deep respect for the Iranian nation and civilization, as well as the contributions of Iranian Americans to the United States.

Recognizing the meaning of Norooz as the dawn of a new day, President Obama expresses his wish for constructive ties between the United States and Iran, signaling his strategic intent to see an end to the 30-year era of destructive enmity.

President Obama speaks in videotaped message to Iran
20 Mar 2009

NIAC lauds the President's message, seeing it as a clear break with the policies of confrontation of the past.

"This is a historic message. It will be the topic of conversation at every Norooz celebration in Iran and in America," said Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council, the largest Iranian-American grassroots organization. "He is doing something crucial: He is sending a signal of strategic intent that America's objective is to find constructive relations between the US and Iran, i.e. ending the destructive enmity that has existed for three decades."

Signaling this strategic intent is imperative since tactical collaboration with Iran in Afghanistan will be unlikely to achieve unless America assures Tehran that the broader long-term objective is to find a positive relationship between the two countries.

The message exhibited the President's deep understanding and respect for the Iranian nation and civilization. Citing one of Iran's most revered poets, Saadi, showed his understanding of what is important to and valued by Iranians.

Obama's message was focused on behavioral change, not regime change. Recognizing that Iran has a rightful place among nations clarifies that America recognizes that a country and civilization of Iran's size cannot be isolated and contained inevitably.

"By pointing out that this role comes with responsibilities, he signals Iran that its rightful role is within reach if its policies change," Parsi continued. "This is a significant break with the Bush Administration policies."

The President's message continues the development of a new tone in American rhetoric, one that instills trust more than it emphasizes threats. In the case of ties to Iran, this is essential.

"Mistrust between the US and Iran is overwhelming. Through this message, the President just injected a huge dose of trust and confidence. Tehran should reciprocate by declaring its positive intent and demonstrating its respect for America," Parsi said.

... Payvand News - 03/20/09 ... --

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