- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2015

President Obama addressed the Iranian people directly in a video message Thursday night, saying the U.S. and Iran have “an historic opportunity” to resolve Tehran’s nuclear issue peacefully.

“We have the best opportunity in decades to pursue a different future between our countries,” Mr. Obama said in a greeting for the Persian holiday of Nowruz. “The days and weeks ahead will be critical. There are people, in both our countries and beyond, who oppose a diplomatic resolution. My message to you — the people of Iran — is that, together, we have to speak up for the future we seek.”

He said Iran’s leaders must choose between a path of further sanctions and hardship if a deal cannot be reached, or a “reasonable deal” that would lead to “greater opportunities for the Iranian people.”

The Associated Press reported Thursday that a draft nuclear accord now being negotiated between the Obama administration and Iran would force Tehran to cut hardware it could use to make an atomic bomb by about 40 percent for at least a decade, while offering the Iranians immediate relief from sanctions that have crippled their economy. The White House denied the report.

Iran claims that it nuclear program is for purely peaceful purposes such as electricity generation and medical research.

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