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Differing U.S. Presidential New Year's Messages to Iran

VOA interview

The people of the United States respects the people of Iran; that we respect the traditions of Iran, the great history of Iran. We have differences with the government, but we honor the people, and we want the people to live in a free society. We believe freedom is a right for all people and that the freer the world is, the more peaceful the world is. And so my message is, please don't be discouraged by the slogans that say America doesn't like you, because we do, and we respect you. . . .

I'd say to the regime that they made decisions that have made it very difficult for the people of Iran. In other words, the Iranian leaders, in their desire to enrich uranium -- in spite of the fact that the international community has asked them not to -- has isolated a great country; and that there's a way forward. I mean, the Iranian leaders know there's a way forward, and that is verifiably suspend your enrichment and you can have new relationship with people in the U.N. Security Council, for example. It's just sad that the leadership is in many ways very stubborn, because the Iraqi -- the Iranian people are not realizing their true rights. And they're confusing people in Iraq, as well, about their desires. It's a tough period in history for the Iranian people, but it doesn't have to be that way. . . .

The people of Iran must understand that the [poor economic] conditions exist in large part because of either management by the government or isolation because of the government's decisions on foreign policy matters -- such as announcing they want to destroy countries with a nuclear weapon. It is irresponsible remarks like that which cause great credibility loss with the Iranian government, the actions of which are affecting the country.

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