Feature

Obama’s video message to Iran

What Obama gains by speaking directly to Iran's leaders, and its people

Americans have been wondering how President Obama would capitalize on the opportunity to ease tensions with Iran, said Matthew Yglesias in Think Progress. Now we know. Obama's video address to the people and government of Iran on the occasion of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, sent the right message by inviting Tehran to improve its standing in the world with respectful engagement, rather than "terror and arms." (watch the video)

"Expect the mullahs to smile," said Rick Moran in American Thinker. Iran's leaders aren't "dumb enough" to reject Obama's overture outright. They'll use this as a chance to "go into a tirade about how evil America has been to Iran," but they'll be polite enough. This will "satisfy our rookie president," but it won't be real progress.

"There will be no shortage of people attacking this as a Chamberlain-like capitulation to the Evil Persian Hitlers," said Glenn Greenwald in Salon, "and there will be an equally vocal group mocking it as an empty gesture from America's bloodthirsty and war-craving emperor." It's true this will mean nothing unless it's followed up by action, but "after 30 years of nothing but threats and hateful rhetoric between the two countries," it's nice to hear such "a palpably different message."

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