I subscribe to the White House Blog RSS feed via Google Reader, but most of the time I only skim through the posts. However, today there was a post that really caught my eye.
“A New Year, A New Beginning” is a post with a video message from President Obama marking Nowruz which is the Iranian celebration of the vernal equinox (which for those of you who like precision istoday at 11:44 UTC, 7:44EDT), which also serves as the Iranian New Year.
Here’s a sample from the transcript:
Today I want to extend my very best wishes to all who are celebrating Nowruz around the world.
This holiday is both an ancient ritual and a moment of renewal, and I hope that you enjoy this special time of year with friends and family.
In particular, I would like to speak directly to the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Nowruz is just one part of your great and celebrated culture. Over many centuries your art, your music, literature and innovation have made the world a better and more beautiful place.
Here in the United States our own communities have been enhanced by the contributions of Iranian Americans. We know that you are a great civilization, and your accomplishments have earned the respect of the United States and the world.
For nearly three decades relations between our nations have been strained. But at this holiday we are reminded of the common humanity that binds us together. Indeed, you will be celebrating your New Year in much the same way that we Americans mark our holidays — by gathering with friends and family, exchanging gifts and stories, and looking to the future with a renewed sense of hope.
I see this as a big step forward. On the sixth anniversary of the invasion his predecessor launched into Iran’s neighbor to the west, President Obama is releasing a message of diplomacy and outreach to Iran.
Hopefully this is part of a plan that will lead to the end of the 30 year freeze of relations between the United State and Iran. It is nice to see an about face from President Bush’s Axis of Evil rhetoric and reflective of a new administration that seeks to build relations and thaw old enmities rather than tear them down and open new rifts