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Obama Reaches Out to Iran With Holiday Video Message

Debbi Wilgoren, in Washington, and Thomas Erdbrink, in Tehran, report:

President Barack Obama sent a videotaped holiday greeting to Iran today that hailed the country's contributions to world civilization and told its people and leaders that the United States seeks engagement with Tehran "that is honest and grounded in mutual respect."

The message, which contrasts sharply with the anti-Iran rhetoric of the previous administration, speaks of a "new day" in which Washington and Tehran could move beyond three decades of distrust and strained relations and build constructive ties.

At the same time, Obama warns that Iran cannot "take its rightful place in the community of nations . . . through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful 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," Obama says.

The message, issued at midnight in Washington, coincides with the ancient festival of Nowruz, which marks the start of spring and the Persian New Year. It follows promises by Obama on the campaign trail and in his initial months in office to engage Iran more directly as a way to end decades of confrontation and address Iran's links to terror groups and its nuclear program.

In the holiday message issued today, Obama took care to use the full name of the country -- the Islamic Republican of Iran -- apparently as a sign of respect. Two weeks ago, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Iran should be included at a high-level conference on Afghanistan being organized under U.S. auspices later this month.

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By Web Politics Editor  |  March 20, 2009; 7:54 AM ET
Categories:  Foggy Bottom  
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Comments

Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer. The President is following a ancient proverb by extending his hand out to Iran. GREAT!!! BUT NOT NOW!!! STAY FOCUS ON THE ECONOMY!!! STOP OUR DOWNWARD SLIDE!!! BALANCE THE BUDGET!!! BALANCE THE TRADE AGREEMENTS WITH FOREIGN COUNTRIES!!!! WE NEED TO BRING MANUFACTURING BACK TO THIS COUNTRY. WALMART THE BIGGEST RETAILER, USES TO HAVE SIGNS IN ITS STORES, STATING [MADE IN THE USA].WHERE HAVE THOSE SIGNS GONE? WHERE OUR JOBS WENT! FOCUS!!!FOCUS!!!FOCUS!!!



Posted by: jk330 | March 20, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

How naive.
Iran's goal is to destroy Israel and the US.
Now that Iran is certain of our weakness..i.e. Obama, they can feel free to pursue their dream.
Only problem is, there will be a million people just like me who aren't naive, who won't buy into Iran's lies and deception, nor will I buy into Iran's wish to destroy Israel or America.
I'll die fighting first, no threat, just fact.
The enemy of my friend is my enemy.

Posted by: Thozmaniac | March 20, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

In other words...."Hey cuz...that whirling dirvish Pelosi is really great...the UN dumped the dollar into the toilet over in Luxemberg this morning. Russia is moving nukes aiming at the USA into Cuba as this airs.... . haven't been able to get the U.S. troop pledge to stop defending the Constitution yet, but it is close... see they haven't removed me for trying it yet. The best news is American business contracts are no good now, and the people are broke... you guys were so right, Sheeple live in the USA I got them eating out of my palm...they have to, Pelosi and I have all their money..... Will be dumping that old broad soon...even California hates her now....this non violent take over has been great, glad we won.
This 60 day pat on my back feels so good, I even took a bow on Leno. ... going drinking in Camp David on the Bud-jet now...Hugs and kisses to all ...Oh yeah I almost forgot , here is a poem I wrote..."

Posted by: dottydo | March 20, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

In other words...."Hey cuz...that whirling dirvish Pelosi is really great...the UN dumped the dollar into the toilet over in Luxemberg this morning. Russia is moving nukes aiming at the USA into Cuba as this airs.... . haven't been able to get the U.S. troop pledge to stop defending the Constitution yet, but it is close... see they haven't removed me for trying it yet. The best news is American business contracts are no good now, and the people are broke... you guys were so right, Sheeple live in the USA I got them eating out of my palm...they have to, Pelosi and I have all their money..... Will be dumping that old broad soon...even California hates her now....
This 60 day pat on my back feels so good, I even took a bow on Leno. ... going drinking in Camp David on the Bud-jet now...Hugs and kisses to all "

Posted by: dottydo | March 20, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

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