Obama's Naw Ruz message to Iran


Update: Iran Plays Down New Obama Video Message (NY Times)

Editor’s Note: Barack Obama’s video message to Iranians marks a significant step in the relations between the new U.S. administration and the Islamic leaders of Iran. New policies and improved relations may have implications for how Baha’is are treated henceforth. We commend Mr. Obama for his engagement.

U.S. President Obama released a special video message for all those celebrating Nowruz. Translated “New Day,” Nowruz marks the arrival of spring and the beginning of the New Year for millions in Iran and other communities around the world.  This year, the President wanted to send a special message to the people and government of Iran on Nowruz, acknowledging the strain in our relations over the last few decades. “But at this holiday we are reminded of the common humanity that binds us together,” he says.

After committing his administration to a future of honest and respectful diplomacy, he continues on to address Iran’s leaders directly: “You, too, have a choice.  The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations.  You have that right — but it comes with real responsibilities, and that place cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization.  And the measure of that greatness is not the capacity to destroy, it is your demonstrated ability to build and create.”

Read the transcript in English or Persian

[Source: White House Blog at http://www.whitehouse.gov/nowruz/]


9 Responses

  1. Nasser

    March 20, 2009 7:00 pm

    Prayer for America from Baha’i writings:

    Thou kind Lord! This gathering is turning to Thee. These hearts are radiant with Thy love. These minds and spirits are exhilarated by the message of Thy glad-tidings. O God! Let this American democracy become glorious in spiritual degrees even as it has aspired to material degrees, and render this just government victorious. Confirm this revered nation to upraise the standard of the oneness of humanity, to promulgate the Most Great Peace, to become thereby most glorious and praiseworthy among all the nations of the world. O God! This American nation is worthy of Thy favors and is deserving of Thy mercy. Make it precious and near to Thee through Thy bounty and bestowal. -‘Abdu’l-Bahá

    Prayer for New York from Baha’i writings:

    Bless Thou, O King of Kings, the city of New York! Cause the friends there to be kind to one another. Purify their souls and make their hearts to be free and detached. Illumine the world of their consciousness. Exhilarate their spirits and bestow celestial power and confirmation upon them. Establish there a heavenly realm, so that the City of Baha may prosper and New York be favoured with blessings from the Abha Kingdom, that this region may become like the all-highest Paradise, may develop into a vineyard of God and be transformed into a heavenly orchard and a spiritual rose garden.
    -Revealed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá during his visit to New York City in 1912.

    Prayer for Mother Temple of the West in Chicago, Illinois from Baha’i writings:

    O God, my God! I implore Thee with a throbbing heart and streaming tears to aid whosoever expendeth his energy for the erection of this House, and the construction of this Building wherein Thy name is mentioned every morn and every eve.

    O God! Send down Thy divine increase on whosoever endeavoreth to serve this edifice and exerteth himself to raise it amongst the kindreds and religions of the world. Confirm him in every good deed in promoting the welfare of mankind. Open Thou the doors of wealth and abundance unto him and make him an heir to the treasures of the Kingdom, which perish not. Make him a sign of Thy bestowals among the peoples and reinforce him by the sea of Thy generosity and bounty, surging with waves of Thy grace and favor. Verily, Thou art the Generous, the Merciful and the Bountiful.

    Source: http://bahaiprayers.org/mothertemple1.htm

  2. LizKauai

    March 20, 2009 8:13 pm

    Mahalo, President Obama, for humanizing the people of Iran, for pointing out the challenges that remain before all of us, for demonstrating an attitude of respect and for focusing on the principles that will allow all to move forward from here.

    And Mahalo for the Naw-Ruz greetings!

  3. Donald Addison, Ph.D

    March 20, 2009 11:25 pm

    I am profoundly moved by the incredible courage and spiritual support from around the world, supporting loving greetings from literally all around the world, messages which are sent to the long-suffering Baha’is of Iran. These people have done nothing illegal except to love the teachings of God for this Day and yet so many lay in dark, cold, even freezing cells all designed to break the spirits of the Baha’is in prisons in Iran.

    I’m an American Indian of the Choctaw tribe of the SE, and our people have suffered hugely over the centuries since the coming of the European to the USA. But I love my country, the USA, and I look back and understand that the white people who killed off Indian tribes and whole pockets of communities and cultures were doing what they thought was right. Now, we look back, and see that those who killed Indians in the formation of the USA were wholly misguided and never
    regarded (looking back now) that the killing of Indians was either right or useful, nor was it ever the will of God.
    I pray daily for the Baha’is of Iran and their relatives and friends across the seas of our grear planet, Mother Earth. I pray that sanity will soon replace the hatred which today seeks to destroy the Baha’i Faith throughout all of Iran. The Baha’is use love as their weapon in dealing with enemies of their Faith. As an American Indian, I am proud to be Choctaw and to be able to talk openly about my being a Baha’i and how deeply I love the Baha’i Faith–it’s writings, Teachings, peoples, and how inspired I am when I learn of the sacrifices of the Iranian Baha’is today and in their glorious past. I KNOW that the future for the Baha’i Faith will
    truly be bright. I pray that God will hasten the coming of peace for the Baha’is in Iran. Too much blood has already been spilt on that precious soil called Iran.

    Ironically, it is a “great victory” every time I read it, or hear it—and this is typical–that the Baha’is habor no ill will against the people and rulers and leaders of Iran. Why can’t Iranian authorities “UNDERSTAND” that no such thing as Baha’is being spies for Israel or the US exists, or has ever existed. It was an ironic turn in history that Baha’u’llah was exiled to what is now known as Israel AS A PRISONER of the Turkish and Iranian governments over a century ago. And currently, Iranian officials find fault that Baha’is are in some way associated with Israel—a fact that only stems back to this earlier twist of history.

    Let fairness reign someday!

    Dr. Don Addison (Choctaw tribe)
    Cultural Anthropologist/Ethnic Studies
    Ethnomsicology Instructor
    University of Oregon/Lane Community College
    and Chemeketa Community College in Oregon

  4. Ali

    March 21, 2009 5:56 am

    I don’t think President Obama’s message will do anything positive. Mullahs have been able to keep themselves in power for the past 30 years solely on their animosity toward the United States. Any softening by Mullahs toward the U.S. will result in Mullahs losing their grip on power. Millions of people that they send into streets every month to chant the usual slogans against U.S. will have to be let go by Mullahs. Those elements themselves will turn against the regime in Iran. Mullahs know this and so they will use Mr Obama’s message to kill time until they buildup their nuclear bomb. At that time they can afford to build up their relations with the U.S. Prior to that, it will be suicidal. Mullahs have outlasted Carter, Regan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II with their games. They will not give up now just because there is someone else in the White House. Also, by Mr. Obama connecting the past 30 years of Mullahs’ brutal rule in Iran to Iran’s 6,000 year history of culture and progress and then connecting the Mullahs to Sadie, he turned off a lot of Iranians.

    On the other hand, there are many Iranians who see this as an opportunity for the
    regime in Iran to soften its stand and join the world community. But these same people still say that Mullahs have bigger plans for the middle east and their long range plan calls for a Shiia empire stretching from China to Israel and over all Sunni lands. The above was a summary of the views posted on BBC Persian and a few other sites with regards to Mr Obamas message to Iran.

    Mean while, I pray for peace. The alternative is Armageddon.

  5. Hosayn

    March 21, 2009 2:43 pm

    This is a wrestling match between a Democratic feather weight and a Mullah heavy weight. The Mullah heavy weight has already won multiple matches against 3 former Republicab heavy weights and 2 Democratic feather weights. The outcome is already predetermined. Mullah heavy weight will bring the feather weight into the ring and let him play a little warm up game. Just enough time to build up the nuclear bomb. Then it’s a push and a roll and game is over as it will be the usual campaigning time for the feather weight to head home to get reelected.

    This has been mullahs’ game plan all along the past 30 years. It is not a chess game as most people think. It is a wrestling game. Mullahs want to build their Shiieh empire over Saudi Arabia’s ruins. Then they have a date with destiney and a long march to make Hamongog. Ezekiel 38:1

  6. Steve

    March 21, 2009 8:36 pm

    بنی آدم اعضای یک پیکرند
    که در آفرينش ز یک گوهرند
    چو عضوى به درد آورد روزگار
    دگر عضوها را نماند قرار
    تو کز محنت دیگران بی غمی
    نشاید که نامت نهند آدمی

    “‘The children of Adam are limbs to each other,
    having been created of one essence.
    If one member is afflicted with pain,
    Other members uneasy will remain.
    If you have no sympathy for human pain,
    The name of human you cannot retain”.

    The complete text of Saadi’s poem (above) graces the entrance to the Hall of Nations of the UN building in New York with this call for breaking all barriers.

  7. Soheila

    March 22, 2009 2:56 pm

    This is a very famous poem. The real message is in the third line of this poem. It is so befitting the mullahs considering their record over the past three decades.

  8. Ali

    March 31, 2009 6:57 pm

    It appears that Aya Khamanei wants President O. to bend more than he did at No Rooz! Apparently mullahs have gotten used to seeing Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton 1, and Bush 2 bend forward and backward till they rolled off the cliff.


Leave a Reply