Barack Obama urges Iran to take different path in Nowruz message
US President Barack Obama told the Iranian people Monday that a different path is possible for their nation if the government lives up to international obligations on its nuclear programme, DPA reported.
"Since taking office, I have offered the Iranian government an opportunity - if it meets its international obligations, then there could be a new relationship between our two countries, and Iran could begin to return to its rightful place among the community of nations," Obama said in a subtitled online video directed at the Iranian people at the start of Nowruz, the Persian new year.
"I have had no illusions about the difficulty of overcoming decades of mistrust. It will take a serious and sustained effort to resolve the many differences between Iran and the United States," he said.
Obama pointed to the "high and unnecessary price" being paid by the country's citizens because of the nuclear programme and resulting sanctions and called on the government "to take immediate and meaningful steps to reduce tensions and work toward an enduring, long-term settlement of the nuclear issue."
Obama is to meet Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Iran's nuclear programme is sure to be among the major topics discussed by the leaders in Obama's first trip to the Middle East as president.