| Feature Story
President Obama Calls for 'New Beginning' in Message to Iran
March 20, 2009 - Voice of America
Author(s): Paula Wolfson
WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Barack Obama is offering Iran's leaders the promise of a new beginning in relations. But Mr. Obama says they must now choose between threats and engagement.
President Obama says relations between Iran and the United States have grown increasingly strained over the last three decades.
He says it is time to begin anew.
"My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran and the international community," the president said.
But he says the effort cannot be one sided, stressing Iran's leaders have a choice.
"This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek, instead, engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect," he said.
He spoke in a videotaped message marking Nowruz - the Persian New Year. He said with the new year comes the promise of a new day.