- Unbeliebable: White House turns Bieber petition response into immigration screed
- Obama signs law denying Iran ambassador’s visa, but says law is ‘advisory’
- Mich. judge to laughing convicted killer: ‘I hope you die in prison’
- Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
- Fla. man charged with killing 16-month-old son to play Xbox undisturbed
- Drones from the deep: Pentagon develops ocean-floor attack robots
- Michigan mayor slaps back atheists’ try to erect ‘reason station’ at city hall
- PHILLIPS: Where is the conservative establishment?
- 7.5-magnitude earthquake shakes southern Mexico
From Israel, Kerry sends peace message to Iranians
While he and President Obama were expressing solidarity with Israel over Iran's nuclear program this week, Secretary of State John F. Kerry quietly issued a statement saying the United States is "strongly committed to resolving" its differences with Tehran.
"Despite the difficult history of the last decades between the United States and Iran, there is an opportunity to work diplomatically to reduce tensions and address the mistrust between our two countries, to the mutual benefit of both of our people," Mr. Kerry said.
The remarks came in a statement released Wednesday evening wishing "health and prosperity to the people of Iran" as they celebrate Nowruz, the Iranian-Persian New Year. Regardless of who holds office in Washington, recent years have seen the State Department make a tradition of issuing a positive "Message to the Iranian People on Nowruz" each year.
Mr. Kerry's message said that "many Americans will join you in celebrating Nowruz" this year. In addition to noting to the "outstanding contributions of Iranian-Americans and Iranian students" in the United States, the secretary of state said, "I am proud of the Iranian-Americans in my own family, and grateful for how they have enriched my life."
The message made direct reference to tensions, which have mounted during recent years, over Iran's nuclear program and the Obama administration's attempts to establish and enforce a global embargo on crude oil from Iran to pressure the Islamic Republic to halt its suspected nuclear military program.
Iran claims that its nuclear program is peaceful and intended for civilian purposes.
"We sincerely hope Iran's leaders choose to fulfill their obligations to not only the international community but also to their people so that Iran can begin to take its proper place in the community of nations, and the Iranian people can have access to the same opportunities and freedoms enjoyed by others around the world," said the secretary of state, saying that Mr. Obama is working toward "a new day in our relationship."
Mr. Kerry added that "just last month, Americans and Iranians came together to demonstrate outstanding sportsmanship and camaraderie" — a reference to a group of American athletes who traveled to Tehran to compete in world championship wrestling matches.
After the competition, Rich Bender of USA Wresting was quoted by Voice of America inviting Iranians to come to New York City in May for more wrestling. The head of the Iranian National Olympic Committee reportedly responded that he "would like to visit New York City."
Mr. Kerry said that on Nowruz, U.S. leaders would "like to reaffirm our desire to continue building strong people-to-people ties to promote greater understanding, peace and progress."
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Guy Taylor is the National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times, overseeing the paper’s State Department, Pentagon and intelligence community coverage. He’s also a frequent guest on The McLaughlin Group and C-SPAN.
His series on political, economic and security developments in Mexico won a 2012 Virginia Press Association award.
Prior to rejoining The Times in 2011, his work was ...
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- U.S. fears Afghan services may be cut as corruption sharply reduces customs taxes
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz questions $175 million USAID 'slush fund' for Afghans
- Amid growing unrest, GOP presses for arming Ukraine
- John McCain blasts John Kerry in heated Senate hearing
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- Justice at last: 'Evil woman' outed for grabbing girl's game ball
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- EDITORIAL: Mark Warner running scared?
- Nancy Pelosi washes immigrants' feet in humble Holy Week act then promotes on Twitter
- Harry Reid blasts Bundy ranch supporters as 'domestic terrorists'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.