21 Mar 2010

Obama to Iranians: we can still talk

5:48 am on 21 March 2010

US President Barack Obama has issued a special message to Iran, saying that the American offer of dialogue still stands despite the increasing strain in relations between the two countries.

A year after his offer of a new beginning with Iran failed to achieve concrete results, Mr Obama addressed Iranians in a new video-recorded appeal to mark the observance of Nowruz, an ancient Persian festival celebrating the arrival of spring.

Mr Obama pledged to pursue aggressive sanctions to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, saying America is working with the international community to hold the Iranian government accountable because it refuses to live up to its international obligations.

But he says America's offer of comprehensive diplomatic contacts and dialogue stands.