“This year we have the best opportunity in decades to pursue a different future between our countries,” Obama said in an address on Thursday marking Nowruz, the Iranian New Year.
The president noted last year's progress in the ongoing Iranian nuclear program negotiations, stressing that the country and international community have kept their commitments.
“The days and weeks ahead will be critical. Our negotiations [on Iran’s nuclear program] have made progress but gaps remain,” Obama stressed, calling for people to “speak up for the future we seek.”
The president urged Iran to ensure the world that the country’s nuclear program is peaceful. He added that a “reasonable deal” will lead to more global trade, foreign investment and jobs for Iranians along with partnerships in science, innovation and technology.
Obama has repeatedly stressed the necessity to resolve the issue peacefully, with diplomacy, adding that the opportunity must not be missed.
Currently, the P5+1 group of international negotiators, comprising Russia, the United States, China, the United Kingdom, France and Germany are holding talks with Iran on a comprehensive nuclear deal.
Negotiations are expected to result in a political framework agreement by March 24, while a final agreement is expected to be worked out by July.
The UN Security Council and a number of countries have imposed several rounds of sanctions on Iran, accusing the country of developing nuclear weapons. Tehran has repeatedly rejected those claims, stating that its uranium enrichment program is for peaceful purposes only.