President Barack Obama called on Iranians to reach a nuclear deal in a video message marking Norwuz, the Persian New Year.
“As you gather around the Nowruz table—from Tehran to Shiraz to Tabriz, from the coasts of the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf—you’re giving thanks for your blessings and looking ahead to the future,” Obama said.
The deadline for a deal is at the end of the month. Officials leaked details of the draft agreement to the Associated Press on Thursday.
“Iran’s leaders have a choice between two paths,” the president said. “If they cannot agree to a reasonable deal, they will keep Iran on the path it’s on today—a path that has isolated Iran, and the Iranian people, from so much of the world, caused so much hardship for Iranian families, and deprived so many young Iranians of the jobs and opportunities they deserve.”
“On the other hand, if Iran’s leaders can agree to a reasonable deal, it can lead to a better path — the path of greater opportunities for the Iranian people,” the president continued. “In other words, a nuclear deal now can help open the door to a brighter future for you — the Iranian people, who, as heirs to a great civilization, have so much to give to the world.”
Obama issued the message on the same day he spoke on the phone with Israeli Prim Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who strongly opposes U.S. negotiations with Iran.