Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Reconciliation blues

Obama

On Thursday night around 11:55 p.m., just five minutes before the Iranian New Year, Norwuz, the White House release a video wishing Iranians around the world, especially those in Iran, a happy new year. The message is conciliatory and groundbreaking, with Obama asking Iran to pursue a new day of engagement and dialog with the U.S.

Will the Iranian government respond in kind? I really hope so. The White House’s message (see the full text of the message here) is calculated and strategic. The fact that the White House released the video before Nowruz and utilized the theme of the new year signals the administration is sensitive to the context of the Iranian people. This approach postures an attitude of sensitivity and mutuality, acknowledging the richness and valuable contribution of Iranian culture to the world all the while maintaining there exists serious differences between the two governments. This is a smart move, a move that signals the realization that the U.S. can no longer operate on the geopolitical stage without bringing other views to the table of the “community of nations.” The challenge for the U.S. is whether we can demonstrate leadership on the world stage and to move from estrangement to engagement. Global issues demand global engagement, and this message to Iran signals the start of an engaging posture toward the world.


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