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Best opportunity for US, Iran to transform strained ties:Obama

Best opportunity for US, Iran to transform strained ties:Obama
US President Barack Obama has said that nuclear talks with Iran presented the “best opportunity in decades” for the two nations to transform their long-strained ties, amidst reports that negotiations for a much-awaited deal have entered its last phase.

“This year, we have the best opportunity in decades to pursue a different future between our countries,” he said in a message to mark the Persian new year festival of Nowruz. Speaking directly to the Iranian people and their leaders, Obama said the days and weeks ahead will be critical.

“Our negotiations have made progress, but gaps remain. And there are people, in both our countries and beyond, who oppose a diplomatic resolution,” he said, without referring to any country or individual.

“My message to you ? the people of Iran ? is that, together, we have to speak up for the future we seek,” he said hours after Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif hailed “progress” in the talks. “As you gather around the Nowruz table ? from Tehran to Shiraz to Tabriz, from the coasts of the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf ? you?re giving thanks for your blessings and looking ahead to the future,” Obama said. The US and Iran have no diplomatic relations since 1979 Iranian revolution and seizure of US embassy in Tehran.

“Just over a year ago, we reached an initial understanding regarding Iran’s nuclear program. And both sides have kept our commitments. Iran has halted progress on its nuclear program and even rolled it back in some areas,” he said.

“The international community, including the US, has provided Iran with some relief from sanctions.?Now, our diplomats ? and our scientists ? are engaged in negotiations in the hopes of finding a comprehensive solution that resolves the world?s concerns with Iran?s nuclear programme,” he said.
Agencies

Agencies

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