- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
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 ...
- U.S. urges direct talks between Russia, new Ukraine government
- Israelis had U.S. help in intercepting Iranian missile shipment to Palestine
- Special congressional panel to investigate FBI contact with bin Laden
- EXCLUSIVE: FBI had human source in contact with bin Laden as far back as 1993
- Ambassador denies reports Iraq has weapons deal with Iran
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- IRS to turn over Lerner emails in tea party targeting probe
- DELAY: A revolution for the Constitution
- BRUCE: Obama's bizarre immigration rules
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- PRUDEN: Likening Putin to Hitler on Ukraine shows Hillary's shaky grasp of history
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Border Patrol policy still permits agents to shoot at rock-throwers
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again