Friday, March 20, 2009

Obama sends Persian New Year message

President Barack Obama sent a Persian New Year's message Friday offering a new start in relations between the two countries.

Breaking sharply from Bush administration policy,Obama released a video with Farsi language subtitles to coincide with the major Iranian festival of Nowruz, a 12-day holiday that marks the arrival of spring and the beginning of the new year on the Persian calendar.

One of Obama's campaign promises was to talk with the country's foes unlike the previous administration.

But Iranian leaders have been not been as eager. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has criticized Obama, saying he would continue the policies of former President George W. Bush.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Iran that he welcomes negotiations with the United states but only if Washington changes its attitude toward Tehran.

Iran brushes aside new Obama video message

The Associated Press - ‎43 minutes ago‎
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - The Iranian government brushed aside a Persian New Year's message Friday from President Barack Obama offering to resolve years of hostility, saying it wants concrete change from Washington before it's ready to enter a dialogue.
Video: Obama offers new start with Iran France 24

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